September 05, 2014

Crest of a Knave


Crest of a Knave


BILLY'S CONTRACT discusses club badges


I read with interest that ahead of their move to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (The Olympic Stadium to you and me mate) that the directors of West Ham United polled their supporters with a view to having the club badge updated. Turns out the Hammers fans were in favour of such a move, after all it was ten years since the badge had been previously revamped.

I must admit that, along with Liverpool, Tottenham and a few others, West Ham's current crest is one of my favourites in league football, particularly as it is a history lesson in itself. 

The castle on the crest represents that of the Boleyn family, which was said to be sited near Green Street, down the road from Upton Park.

Legend has it that King Henry VIII came a-courting here when he fell head over heels in love and lost his head to one of the Boleyn girls called Anne. She in turn later lost her head through Henry.
The two crossed hammers on West Ham's crest represent the Thames Ironworks ship builders, who formed a football club that later became West Ham United. This is how the club derived their nickname 'The Hammers'. However,more traditional West Ham fans prefer the moniker of 'The Irons'.
"Newcastle United: Would feature a clown's car. Along with a smoking gun pointing at a foot."
Heres another history lesson. The Thames Ironworks Company were the manufacturers of no less a vessel than HMS Warrior, which, as all 'Poolies know, was taken to Hartlepool (pre-Marina days) for remedial repairs against the owners' snagging list due to faulty workmanship by the East London shipbuilder.

West Ham's new club crest has been unveiled, showing two heavy-duty crossed hammers.
The castle along with Anne Boleyn has been axed. Above the crossed hammers is the club name and underneath is the word 'London'. The word London has been included as a marketing exercise as London at this moment in time is 'The City' to do business in. Goodness knows how much West Ham paid the consultants to carry out this re-branding exercise.

Another poll was carried out amongst the West Ham faithful asking what they thought of the new crest. I think 53% of fans said that they liked it, which obviously means that 47% did not!

I am sure that when you study the origins of most football club logos, with the obvious exception of MK Dons, they all have some connection with the past or their Town/City heritage. If you think I am joking have a look at Accrington Stanley's club badge. There is even a playing card in it. What's that all about?

Many clubs in recent years have changed their logos albeit subtly, take Everton and Arsenal. Others have gone the other way. Look at Bolton's logo. Looks like an advert for a company supplying party balloons for hen nights.

Fulham's is a bit scary, a cross between what the military were wearing in Germany 1939-45, and George Orwell's 1984.

Why am I banging on about football club logos? I think is about high time that Hartlepool United looked at changing our current crest. Indeed they have made some slight alterations to the original ship's wheel by dropping that awful tag line "The Towns' Club", which in itself is a starting point.

Why should we change the existing badge?

1) It is Bloody Awful
2) I hate football club badges that have ...a football in them, though I have to admit Man U do it very tastefully.
3) The current Pools logo looks like a child designed it. Oh, I have just been informed, through my ear piece, that a child did in fact design it. Nuf said.

I think the club should hold a competition for the fans to come up with a design for a new image to represent Hartlepool United, If nothing else this would avoid paying mouth-watering fees to consultants for the privilege.

I have three preferences:

1) A gadgie wearing a 'Pools top, fishing from the Pilot Pier, reeling in a bike wheel/supermarket trolley from the North Sea. Our 'Chorber' would have a tab in his mouth, preferably a 'rollie' and a tin of Hansa lager beer resting on the pier wall. In the background, or should I say the backwater of this idyllic scene, a dredger doing what it does best.
Space permitting I would also include Verrills chippie in this montage, with the words "Closed all day Saturday and every weekday lunchtime."

2) A bus driving by itself. This would be an old Blue Hartlepool Corporation AEC double decker blasting through Throston Bridge on its way to 'West'.

3) My own personal preference would be to re-introduce the crest that Garry Gibson had designed. Hart /Stag rampant with the letter H in the background. (You could say that that was A Crest of a Knave!)

In fact I have decided that I am going to offer my club badge rebranding services to other football clubs. So far my portfolio includes:

Newcastle United: Would feature a clown's car. Along with a smoking gun pointing at a foot.

Darlow: Would show two chaps on the footplate driving the Locomotion steam engine which is in the process of jumping off the rails.The destination board reads 'Oblivion'.
One chap, presumably the driver, is bravely holding one hand on the throttle and the other holding onto his Quaker's hat. The fireman is looking aghast, having one hand holding his comb-over in place and the other hand pointing at his Quaker hat which has been blown away, along with lumps of coal falling off the tender.
A logo underneath, preferably in Latin, saying: "What goes up must come down heskylators"

Boro: Would just be a rework of Edvard Munch's "The Scream"

Sunderland: Would be an image of Steve McQueen and Richard Attenborough with a tag line of "The Great Escape"

Man U: Would be a Dutch cap ...with holes in.

I could go on and on.

Do any MB readers have any ideas for Pools' or other teams' revised motifs? The editor will award a magnum of champagne for the best suggestions. 

Sorry that should read a Champagne Magnum ice cream/lolly. (Nothing to do with me - Ed.)