THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

25 May ~ Shrewsbury Town fans are contented, almost. We have returned to the third tier after an absence of 17 years and several frustrations in the play-offs; club legend and all-round good guy Graham Turner is back in the dugout; the chairman and board are local men committed to running the club according to its means; and we have a bright, shiny new stadium that does not flood twice a season. But then there's the issue of our badge. For over 40 years the Shrewsbury badge had included the Loggerheads symbol, which consists of three leopards heads on a shield, and has been the town's coat of arms since the Middle Ages.

The earliest known team photograph, from 1907, shows loggerheads on the shirts, so most fans regard them as our badge. But in 2007, when we moved from Gay Meadow, a new badge was announced. Fans were puzzled as the roaring lion design looked vaguely familiar. Was it taken from a well known pub in the town, Millwall's badge or even a Lion bar? Worse still, no one could think of any connection between a lion and town or club. The design was clumsy: why have the words "Shrewsbury Town" followed by "STFC"?

The club argued that the change was required due to concerns over copyright: "The bottom line is, we have to protect our brand. We can't do that with our current logo." Their statement went on to say that the new logo is "able to be registered in 14 trademark classes". Fan puzzlement quickly turned to disbelief and anger, when a poster on the unofficial blue-and-amber message board discovered that the lion was taken from clip art, ready-made generic imagery.

From that time on, opposition to the clip art badge has been a regular topic on the board. After the League season ended, an online petition launched to ask for the return of the Loggerheads. Within two weeks, over 850 signatures had been collected.

After five years of silence on the matter, the club was prodded into issuing a statement. They ignored the sentiments of the petition: "It is extremely disappointing that the celebration of promotion has been curtailed and demeaned by yet another debate about the club badge." The club's statement mentioned their desire to maintain "revenue streams from merchandise" and (hilariously) "our youngest fans who relate to the lion on the badge to our mascot Lenny the Lion". The latter statement was compared by a supporter to Arsenal replacing their cannon with Gunnersaurus.

The statement begs several questions. It's not clear how can you register a badge including clip art but not one that includes the Loggerheads. If the new badge is registered, rip-offs should not be so readily available on Ebay, nor should hawkers have been able to sell unofficial merchandise outside the ground before our last home game of the season. Finally, if the revenue streams are so precious, why do we have a club shop the size of an average front room?

We don't know why the club is so defensive about their badly designed badge, but despite our regret that the petition has upset the club's board, the campaign to get rid of "clippy" will continue. David Campion

Comments (5)
Comment by Arthur Nibble 2012-05-28 10:39:46

"For over 40 years the Shrewsbury badge had included the Loggerheads symbol, which consists of three leopards heads on a shield".

I must have been unlucky when I ordered a Shrewsbury Town badge in 1992. I received a small, squarish badge with what resembled a 'Piltdown Man' style outline of a shrew, and not one word or set of initials anywhere to tell you whose badge it was.

Comment by Jongudmund 2012-05-28 12:47:00

Yes, many of the strident voices on the web forum forget that STFC have had numerous badges. The Shrew was adopted in the middle of their most successful period in the mid-80s.

What's really interesting is the flame war that has developed on the blue and amber forum. Apparently if you aren't willing to campaign for a return to the Loggerheads then you aren't truly a fan. "This is about our HERITAGE!" wrote one berserk berk. Another told anyone who didn't support the petition that they "Should f*** off and support MK Dons".

The other constant refrain is 'the club won't listen to us', but when you get juvenile posters claiming that anyone who likes the current badge must have "family connections with the club" it's hard to see why anyone would want to listen to them.

Comment by NickSTFU 2012-05-29 08:54:30

I think Jongudmund is being rather selective in his quotes there. It’s worth pointing out that most of the ‘bullying’ and ‘abuse’ has come from those supporting the lion logo. I mean “berserk berk” really?

There has actually been a healthy debate on all social media including Shrewschat the official Club message board about identity and history. I hesitate to use the word heritage because that is just as much about the present as the past. History and identity are important for football supporters, and part of that identity is with the area and community the Club is part of.

The Loggerheads have been a significant part of the badge of the Club since at least 1907, evidence provided by that photo in “Breath on them Salop”. Yes the Club adopted that Shrew badge in the 80’s, but significantly returned to the Loggerheads for over 15 years before going over to ‘clippy’.

Another fact that Jongumund fails to mention is that though the Loggerheads is the preferred badge for the majority of ant –clippy supporters they are realistic enough to know that copyright issues may prevent its use. Many of supporters, me included, would just a like a badge that at least represents the Town and County and says something about us as a Club. A lion fails to address this.

Comment by Jongudmund 2012-05-30 13:00:06

@NickSTFU Well, obviously I'm being selective. Although I didn't really see any bullying or abuse from Clippy supporters, just people asking if it was that important an issue for anyone to get that het up about. The answer seemed to be yes. In fact, liek I said, one enthusiast for a return to the Loggerheads said all fans who didn't agree with him should be supporting MK Dons.

I've foundvery few supporters of Clippy and am not one myself, but questioning whether the petition and name-calling was the best way forward on blue and amber got me a load of hassle, so, yeah, I stand by 'beserk berk' because anyone who has to write word like heritage in capitals and follow it by multiple exclamation marks comes under the category of over-excited (berserk) and under-educated (berk) in my book.

Comment by Jamo 2012-06-07 18:58:52

Jongudmund. There is being selective and there is being selective ! The 'quote' you mention is mine and it was said in response to someone on Blue and Amber questioning the heritage and history of our fine club. The Fuck off to MK Dons quote was used merely to counter the very small number of Shrewsbury fans who appear to completely disregard just what the identity of our club and our town mean to us and who seem to think that we can just latch ourselves onto any old tat and be happy about it and to remove and deny the years and years of our clubs history into the bargain.
I stand by the comment.

Clearly you do not want the return of The Loggerheads, fine ! But don't criticise the vast numbers of Salop fans who have always hated clippy and who will continue to do so until our identity is restored. The only hysterical berks in this argument appear to share your side of the argument. Long may you be in the minority.

Restore The Loggerheads. No Surrender.

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