After a long period of deliberation, it has been decided that South Shields Football Club will be changing the club badge at the end of the season.
The decision is backed by the club and its committee not only for commercial reasons surrounding exclusivity of the badge, but also to ensure the club has its own brand moving forward. However, we appreciate that many aspects of the current crest are key to our local history and the club. This was also stressed by fans, many of whom identified aspects which needed to be maintained in the new badge.
Geoff Thompson, the club’s chairman, said: “We have thought long and hard about the decision to modernise the club’s crest.
“When we came back to Mariners Park from Peterlee almost three years ago, we needed to keep some continuity at the club and didn’t think it was the correct time to change it.”
The club has only used the town crest since the 1994-95 season. The original town crest seemed to be the best choice for the club at that time, however, as it belongs to the town, we do not have any rights to have exclusive use of it. Therefore, the club has lost revenue, with other sources providing merchandise with the town’s logo on it.
As we have had a successful period since the return to Mariners Park, there has been a huge demand for club merchandise, particularly after reaching Wembley for the FA Vase final last season. We depend heavily on the revenue gained by merchandise sales, gate receipts, food and beverage sales. Gaining exclusive rights to the badge will enable revenue to be kept to build our club for the future.
We wanted the design of the badge to maintain a lot of the original features of the town crest, and in discussions with some supporters, we asked which elements we should keep. It was a surprise to us that almost all of the fans asked listed the same items which should be in the new version.
The items were the anchor, the lifeboat, the motto “Always Ready” and 1888, to represent the year the original South Shields Football Club was formed. We also decided that we needed to minimise the colours to four. With this in mind, our brief stated that these elements must be included in the new design.
THE LIFE RING
Named The Life Ring, the main part of the badge has been designed to resemble a life ring to represent the town’s maritime heritage. A badge design can be many shapes, but what is more fitting than demonstrating the town’s heritage by using a life ring shape alongside the town’s memorial lifeboat and anchor? The colours of the life ring are to resemble the club colours of claret and blue, with the outer circles blue so that it stands out on the home shirt.
This is a simplified version of the Tyne Lifeboat. It is designed to have a front view, because the club is ‘Always Ready’ to tackle anybody face on. Already carrying the colours of the club, what better way to again demonstrate our heritage by placing the most famous boat in South Shields within the club badge? Although the blue is at the top part of the boat, it’s also designed to resemble a wave shape from the coast off the beach in South Shields.
This is a simplified version of an anchor, designed and shaped so that the bottom part can merge with the Tyne Lifeboat without losing its shape. This anchor will be unique to the football club because it has been designed and shaped from scratch, which will mean no other anchor will be the same.
The famous town motto ‘Always Ready’ has been designed and positioned just above the Tyne Lifeboat, and sits in the centre of the club’s badge, just as it did in the original Coat of Arms crest. The font has been made to look close to the original, but the colour has been changed to claret to resemble the club’s home colours. ‘Always Ready’ is a massive part of the town’s heritage, and just as the words say, the club itself, just like the volunteer life brigade, will always be ready to take on any challenge.
With the club name added and the year the original club was formed, this is the new design.
In addition, to mark the 130th anniversary of the formation of the first South Shields FC, a special edition crest (pictured below) will be used next season.