Monthly Archives: May 2011

EPL: Aston Villa v Liverpool; Villa Park, 22 May 2011. KO: 4pm BST

We have a good record at Villa Park, but so did we have at home against Spurs!

However, with Spurs having to play Birmingham who are fighting against relegation, we could yet make it into Europe if our result is better than Spurs’, points-wise.

Villa have no such concerns, so maybe they will relax and play, or if we get going, we could get a very good result against a relatively unmotivated team. That said, such is the congestion mid-table, a win for them could see them move up a few places, and that could make a substantial difference to the end of season prize money.

Our team news is hardly any different to last week, although Meireles seems to be more in contention this time around, but I doubt that he’ll start. I think it more likely that he will be on the bench, if that, but with Europe still a possibility, I expect a full-strength side to be played. Who knows what Villa will put out.

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Disappointment Against Spurs

It was not foreseen at all. An early deflected goal then a another dodgy, big Howard Webb decision gave Spurs their chance of a second, which was taken.

Give them credit; Spurs were solid at the back and they ran the midfield for long periods. Missing was the crisp passing and the wealth of chances that we had been creating almost for fun.

Why? Well, I think the conditions played a part. The skidding around did not suit the quick, quality passing that had been evident in our recent games, but it was more than that. Gone too was the ability to intercept. Spurs held the ball up well and we rarely took it off them.

Heavy expectations? Perhaps. Suarez was certainly petulent at times, and I didn’t care to see the other side of his game take over. It gave Spurs heart to see our players react as he did. Maxi did not cover himself with glory, either.

Carroll looked out of sorts, Suarez went missing for periods, and we failed to keep or obtain possession. Flanagan was just plain unlucky. Neither the penalty nor his booking warranted such.

Spurs defending? That has been an oxymoron over the years, but with King and Dawson, it was men against boys at times.

Whilst all is not lost, with Spurs needing to win against Birmingham to stay above us, and Birmingham needing points to avoid the drop, a visit to Aston Villa is a winnable game. Basically, if Spurs don’t win, any result better than theirs, pointwise, will suffice.

But as Spurs did against us after some bitterly disappointing results, some of our players will have to bounce back from poor performances.

EPL: Liverpool v Spurs; Anfield, 15 May 2011. KO: 4pm BST

Having been on a terrific run of form of late, whilst Tottenham have suffered such a loss of form as to render them not just vulnerable to losing out on a UCL spot to Man City, a place they finally gave up last Tuesday, with another awful result against City, but with Spurs also now vulnerable to losing out on European football altogether – to us.

On top of their dismal form and another demoralising loss this week, we are, instead,  fresh and enlivened with the news of Dalglish’s and Clarke’s three-year contracts. Put this against the further backdrop of Tottenham’s ever worsening injury list, Anfield being pretty much Spurs’ least favourite choice of destination for a place to want to go if they are in need of some points, means that Anfield will be rocking on Sunday afternoon as we look to finish this topsy-turvy season with a Europa League spot, which we will achieve with a game to spare, by beating what is now our only rivals for 5th place; Tottenham.

Spurs are still a decent side, and we cannot be complacent. This game or us is a must not lose, rather than a must win, as the two-point gap we have, plus a superior goal difference that has been achieved through our recent results, means that a draw against Spurs, then a draw away to Villa, would leave Spurs needing to win at home against Birmingham by 13 goals to go above us on goal difference.

(Assuming we don’t high-score-draw with Villa by more than about 3-3, 12-0 for a superior goals scored record, could suffice.)

For Spurs however, to have European qualification back in their own hands, they must beat us on Sunday. But whilst a win for us would mean the end for them, in terms of European football, as we would qualify instead, a win for Spurs on Sunday, still means that they would need to beat Birmingham to be sure of 5th, as anything less would leave them vulnerable to us overtaking them with a win against Villa.

This seems even more unlikely for Spurs, given their current injury list (per the BBC):

Doubtful: Palacios (unspecified)
Injured: Assou-Ekotto & Gallas (both hamstring), Bale & Huddlestone (both ankle), Gomes (back), Hutton (knee), Jenas (thigh), Khumalo (foot), Woodgate (calf)

With the odds stacked in our favour, we still however need to perform.

It’s all set-up for a cracking game on Sunday.

The Missing “For Japan…” Blog

This blog was originally posted on “The Kop” a few days prior to the Liverpool v Braga Europa League Game, but is another blog that suffered being removed by LFC Digital Media Staff, who couldn’t stand being shown-up.

Due to the nature of its content, I felt it deserved its own separate place.

For Japan and their LFC Reds in particular…

Are you going to the Braga game at Anfield on Thursday? Note that there will be a minute’s silence.

I see on some forums that there had been some talk of a large banner being created for the Braga match in order to show our support for the people of Japan, and the Japanese Reds in particular, of whom, at the time of writing, have not been able to contact 34 of their 91 members.

Hopefully those 34 will prove to be temporarily incommunicado and that they will all be accounted for. In the meantime however, the talk of a large banner appears to have become just that – talk. That’s a shame.

The main problem seems to be money. We have a supporters organisation that has been quiet on the issue, and once individual fans realised that such a thing may cost £300, the idea seems to have become muted.

As there doesn’t seem to have been any organisation or person who can or will take the initiative to arrange and co-ordinate a big banner, then it comes down to individual supporters to get their own done. Perhaps a lot of individual banners will speak louder than one big one.

I am keen to include something in the Japanese language, and I have used the Babel Fish translation service to come up with Best Wishes to LFC supporters of Japanthe aside, which means “Best wishes to LFC Supporters of Japan”, which I have also been able to confirm is accurate and would be understood.

However, the important thing is that we show our support and respect, and if you don’t want to be that elaborate, and fear going wrong in a foreign language, and perhaps causing unintentional offence, then don’t.

I don’t think you would go wrong with a simple Japanese flag with YNWA underneath.

Note that the Japanese also take their symbols, such as their national flag, seriously, so artwork of such may cause offence, so keep it simple, and use any such imagery carefully, and as you find it.

If you want to be precise about it – then: “The [Japanese] flag has a width/length ratio of 7:10. The sun, a circle centered on the flag, has a diameter of 3/5 the width. (The sun actually is positioned 1/100th the length closer to the pole edge of the flag.”

But exactitude aside, I don’t think it would be difficult to create a banner like that with just a piece of cardboard and a red pen.

So what do you say, Reds? Would it be so hard to show such basic support and offer this gesture, especially when there are currently 34 of our supporters unaccounted for, not to mention the thousands of other victims and people affected by this disaster?

Addendum:

Following contact with a Japanese LFC Supporter currently studying in the UK, the following phrases were translated by him:

Best wishes to LFC Supporters of Japan – 日本のLFCサポーターの幸運を祈ります

Our thoughts are with the people of Japan – 私たちの思いは日本のみなさんと共にあります

You’ll Never Walk Alone –

みなさんは一人じゃない (You Are Not Alone)

共に歩んでいこう (Let’s Walk On Together)

And this was the result:

The shirt with the message “Thank You 4 Supporting Japan” was later donated to the club.

On 22 April, 2011, Keiko Hirano, from the Liverpool Supporters’ Club in Japan, wrote the following:

Here in Japan the situation remains very unstable. We are aware that international media focus on the rediation problem, however, there are still tens of thausands of people missing and hundreds of thousands still living in the evacuation centres. There have been a few more earthquakes, the latest was on 11 April, exactly a month after the first and the most devastating one on 11 March.

Japan is a earthquake-prone country and we are well equipped against earthquakes. The latest one wouldn’t have been lethal in a normal circumstance. However, some area had already been damaged badly and the infrastructure had never been the same. As a result the latest earthquake also claimed some more lives. Sadly, I found one of my friends from university among the latest victims.

Following the recent setbacks we have double-checked all the supporters club members if they and their families and friends are still safe. We have found out that 83 of all the 91 members are all right, but some of the 83 also lost their friends.

While suffering from the loss everybody has been working hard to get the country’s economy going to help those who have been in a serious situation. Even those who were not directly hit by the earthquakes and tsunami, the life has never been easy as there are still shortages of power, some basic materials like water and food. Some of the 83 members of the supporters club were affected by the disaster to some extent, like damaged properties and so on. Therefore we have not been able to function fullly as a supporters club. We just restarted some of our normal operations only last weekend.

We have just published a first newsletter since the disaster, in which we put the messages from you, sent to us by email immediately after the tsunami from the world wide Liverpool FC family. We also published the messages on our mobile site, which has a link to the Japanese official mobile site of Liverpool FC at the same time.

Some Japanese Reds, who have read the messages for the first time via the newsletter or the mobile site, have said that they are so moved by all the warm messages. Some said that they were in tears reading them. They now know that they are not alone.

Thank you again for your support.

Meanwhile, we the Japanese supporters club have started the tsunami
donation via JustGiving Japan called “You’ll never walk alone! LFC
supporters” (http://justgiving.jp/c/5922). With the help from Liverpool FC, who sent an appeal on behalf of us to all the official branches. We have so far heard from Malaysia Branch and French Branch to help us raise fund.

We also decided to hold a charity event ourselves, on 21 May in Tokyo. In which we will have a charity auction to raise fund for “You’ll never walk alone! LFC supporters”. Our economy is not very good at the moment, as you may imagine, however, everybody who are lucky enough to help those people who have been suffering in the worst hit area, are willing to donate. Therefore all the members of the supporters club are now working hard to prepare products to be auctioned so that we can raise as much fund as possible.

We are wondering if we could get more help from you about products for the auction or any other suggestion to raise fund. We must apologise if we are asking too much. We already have so much support from you by your message. We can not explain how much your messages have encouraged us the Japanese Reds.

Thank you for your support. You’ll Never Walk Alone.

Kind regards,

Keiko

The King and his Clarke are to reign for the next three years

The most unsurprising news story of the back-end of this football season has finally come to be. Kenny Dalglish, alongside Steve Clarke, have both been given three-year deals to continue managing and coaching Liverpool FC.

It is the news that fans have been waiting for for weeks, following Dalglish’s return as manager, but in a ‘caretaker’ capacity, following Roy Hodgson’s ill-fated time in charge.

Liverpool fans will rejoice whilst others may be wary. None more so right now that Tottenham’s fans, whose chase for UCL football ended in Manchester City’s stadium on Tuesday, and now face the prospect of coming to Anfield and realistically needing to win, if they are to have any European football at all.

Anfield is not a place Tottenham enjoy visiting, particularly in league games, famously going 73 years between wins in Liverpool (1912-1985), and where they have only won seven times ever, in all competitions!

With them down from the Man City game, and with us on a run that has taken us above Spurs – who played UCL football this season – and also now in a position to keep us above them, we have the added factor of the fervour that the crowd will have as a consequence of today’s announcement.

The signs are all ominous for Spurs, and all good for us.

Smiles Apart

Originally posted 9 May 2011.

As the pass from Lucas was a little far ahead of Glen Johnson, and the ball ran out of play, Johnson looked back at Lucas and smiled, as Lucas was poking his tongue out, in admission of the fact that; “Yeah, I overhit that one…”

That pass was very much the exception tonight.

As we hit five past Fulham this evening, who themselves managed two decent goals, it was noticeable how we were miles and smiles apart from Fulham, and miles and smiles apart from where we were six months ago.

The crisp passing, the confidence, the creativity from making those short, sharp passes and the fact that someone had passed and moved into place to receive a later one, as well as the smiles, were all evident again tonight, as was something else that was not just missing six months ago, but has been missing for much longer.

Arsenal are often accused of  trying to score the perfect goal, and consequently not scoring enough. There have been times in recent years that we have been guilty of the same, but perhaps without the same quality of passing that occurred before the move broke down, as seems to occur with our North London rivals.

It seems that there were times when we just could not score, but one of the reasons for that is that we weren’t always making the opposition commit errors which put us in a position to capitalise.

Goals are now coming for us from, as tennis commentators would say, ‘forced errors’. As with the first goal against Fulham tonight, we broke with Suarez, the ball in was poorly cleared, and Maxi smacked it in. He and Dirk Kuyt have been Johnny-on-the-spot for us and their goals have been coming courtesy of some scintillating pass and move, which if it hasn’t led directly to a goal, has had the opposition all over the place, making mistakes, and we have put away the loose ball.

This is why we are now scoring the threes, fours and fives; we are not just making goals from great play, we are capitalising on the opposition’s failure, by playing in a way that makes us too hot to handle – even if you’re wearing goalie’s gloves!

Raul Meireles had been scoring, but more recently has been solid, if unspectacular, for us in midfield, so let’s hope that his thigh problem is not serious – but it looked like a hamstring, which would almost certainly mean his season is over. That was the only real downer from the game, for us.

Now if Tottenham don’t win against City tomorrow, and we do them at Anfield next Sunday, we can really have something to smile about, as we’ll be more than three points ahead of them, and guaranteed at least 5th – and European Football – and possibly with a game to spare!

What’s more, if City don’t pick-up another three points in their remaining games, then we still have an outside chance of 4th! By beating Spurs and Villa, we would finish with 64 points. Man City currently have 62 points, but with three games to play.

A draw tomorrow then, please!
🙂

EPL: Fulham v Liverpool; Craven Cottage, 9 May 2011. KO: 8pm BST

Fulham have nothing to play for whilst we continue the hunt for a place in Europe next season. A point would put us back above Spurs and into 5th, on goal difference, but with Spurs to be played at home next weekend, whilst they also travel to Man City tomorrow, a win for us this evening will put even more pressure on Spurs to get a result against City – whom we could also still catch, although a win from any of their remaining games would put them beyond us.

Fulham have Damien Duff out injured, and Clint Dempsey may return for them. We, however, have no new issues following our recent 3-0 win v Newcastle, and perhaps Andy Carroll may be fit to start this time.

Carra would be playing game No 666 for us, which would make him the 2nd in the list of most appearances, after the legendary winger, Ian Callaghan. Another 192 games would do it for Carra…

Also,  if Kyrgiakos plays, it will be game no 50 in a red shirt with a Liver bird, for him. Only another 808 to go, Sotirios…

I can’t see us losing this, as Fulham may be a dogged team to beat, they were a little fortunate to be playing us in a bad spell in 2009, when they won 3-1, as well as having Lee Mason as ref – who is back as ref for this one, despite being demoted for his performance in that game, where he sent two LFC players off.

A draw will be ok, but a win is what we want, and if we get going as we have done of late, we could win this comfortably. We shall see.

The LFC Crest – A History

The animated club crest (left) is based on a small plastic plaque (right) that I have had since I was a boy in the 1970s. The crest itself is an early version of our club crest used between 1970-1992, a crest that had many variations during that period.

Sometime in about 2008/2009, I saw an image online of a rounded Liverpool FC club crest that I did not recognise. My first thought was that it was a joke. It looked too much like that one used by our evil Mancunian rivals. However, it was no joke. It was proven to be our crest during the 1960s.
Slowly, distant memories rose to the surface. I had seen that crest before, but it was so long ago in the 1970s that I had forgotten it.
I still possess a plastic plaque from the early 1970s, which is when I became a Liverpool fan. It is a cheap, worn, piece of plastic, yet it is also to me a priceless, sentimental piece of personal history.
It is a version of our club crest that was used from c1970 until our centenary in 1992. I have never seen a version of our club crest of the time that exactly matched this plaque, so it was a little bit of a mystery as to how “official” it was. As I was also now aware that there was at least one earlier version of the club crest to that, my mind was made-up to find out how many there have been and what they all looked like – and if possible, why changes were made. My search would provide me with one surprising discovery that would bring a smile to my face.
This is the first crest that appeared on our team shirts: a Liver bird, on a pedestal or perch of some sort, in an “elegant” shield.
Now here’s the thing: this crest does not appear on our team shirts until Post WWII, and our FA Cup Final runners-up season of 1949-50.
So what did the original crest look like– and how many were there before 1950?
What colours were used? Was there a primary one? Red, white or even green, like the ones on the Royal Liver building? Was it multi-coloured? Was it simple or elaborate? Was it in a shield of some sort or was it on its own?
Did the Liver bird look like the one used by Liverpool Council? (Which has recently changed to a simpler style; an older version can be found here). This in turn is like the red one on The Paisley Gates.
 
What use was there for the Liverpool club crest in the almost 50-year period before it started to appear on our team shirts?
Was it used on official documents, stamps or seals, pennants, if anything? Was there any merchandise or official club clothing with it on?
I wanted to fill that 50-year gap in my – or our – knowledge.
These days, with The Internet, we have some wonderful resources at hand that provide information about anything, let alone football club histories. In this particular regard, we have, of course, LFCHistory.net, as well as the Historical Kits site. Our own club’s shirt history, which ties-up with the club crest, can be found on this page. Additionally, we have the Liverpool Shirts Museum site, and Liverweb.
I have also utilised Peter Crilly’s “Tops of The Kop” about LFC kits from 1892 – 2007. I have also checked out forums on LFC.tv, as well as the likes of RAWK, which led me then to do searches for images of things like club programmes, and check my own old ones.
I have also gone through the likes of Getty images online for pictures of Club officials of the past. Why? To check their blazers and ties, that’s why.
I have searched through information from the official site, particularly here, as well as exhibits in the museum. The site is where we find the first mention of the origins of the club crest. It is on the first page of the time-line and refers to John Houlding and the foundation of Liverpool football club:
Unable to keep the Everton F.C. name he then thought bigger and finally acceded to his secretary’s proposal, and named his club after the entire city rather than one of its suburbs, even adopting by 1894 the City’s colour of red for the playing shirts and by 1901 the Liverbird as the crest.
An additional source is Anfield Rising – Liverpool: the First Decade, by Brian Belton, who adds that in 1894;
“…the club adopted the city’s red and yellow colours…”
Yellow! That explains that colour being used on kits – but there is no obvious reason for the use of the colour green!  I have learned however that this colour has been around the club longer than Carlsberg, so that’s one myth dispelled, at least.
Below is a time line of (some) slightly stylised clubs crests indicating how they have appeared on shirts and on merchandise since WWII.
Shirt crests
Merchandise crests
There were several versions of the crest used on programmes and other merchandise between 1970 and 1992, which varied in style considerably, although they were all more or less the same one. More about that later…
It is interesting to note that our crest first appeared on the white away kit and was worn at Wembley in the 1950 FA Cup Final defeat to Arsenal, although that may not have been the first occasion it was worn that season. Do you know when it was first used? Was it in the Cup Final?

The club crest, as you may very well know, is based upon the city’s Liver bird emblem. The history of the Liver bird is a subject in itself, and is essential to our crest’s history. To keep that brief, the following text and image is taken from The Heraldry of the World web site:
“The arms were granted in 1797 and show a cormorant with a piece of seaweed in its beak. The cormorant also appears on the crest. The supporters are a Triton and Neptune, the God of the sea. They hold banners with the cormorant and a ship. The arms shows the importance of the sea to the city of Liverpool.
The cormorant is often referred to as the Liver Bird, and is used widely in the city. Liverpool was founded in 1207 by King John. He needed a new port to ship his troops to Ireland and to control the Irish Sea. The new town adopted King John’s seal as its own. The seal showed the eagle of St John holding a sprig of broom in its beak. The broom, or planta genista was the symbol of the royal house of the Plantagenets.
In 1644 the seal was lost and a new seal was made. For some strange reason the eagle was replaced by a cormorant, a more familiar bird in the area. It is likely that the artist mistook the eagle for a cormorant. The piece of broom was replaced by a piece of seaweed. The cormorant became later known as a mythical liver bird. The bird also appears in the arms of Liverpool, Australia.
The motto can be translated as “God has bestowed these blessings on us”, and is taken from Virgil.”
Virgil is a Roman poet. Other translations I have seen of the motto DEUS NOBIS HÆC OTIA FECIT is “God has given us this tranquility” ,or, “God hath granted us this ease.” It is apparently taken from Virgil’s epilogue (Epilogue 1,6) and, in context, is a eulogy of the idyllic country life.
You may care to check out other sources about the history of the Liver bird, e.g. Wikipedia, as well as Liverbirdology and this BBC page.
So, according to two sources (above), the club adopted a crest in 1901. It is perhaps no coincidence that 1900-01 was the first season that we won the league title.
The Anfield museum has one of those championship-winning medals in its collection, and whilst you can only see it from one side in the museum (the image on the left), I believe I have found images of both sides of it, with the colour disparity down to there being separate sources.
 The Championship side of the image (right) is taken from the official site here. The medal in the museum belonged to Tom Robertson.
The Liver bird is depicted on its own on the 1906 Championship medal (aside – apologies for poor photo quality), but when we won the League for the third and fourth times, and twice in a row, between 1921-1923, the club held lavish commemoration dinners, with event programmes depicting the crest.
Here (left) is a club crest used on the cover of Liverpool FC’s programmes from September 1935, in the first season after Everton and Liverpool stopped sharing the match programme.
Here also (right) is how the club crest appeared on club programmes, in 1937.
The ‘break’ that WWII imposed upon the official league programme of fixtures, from 1939-46, seems also to have been when the club crest first changed, but I have not been able to pin down exactly when.
Here are club programmes from the 1947-48, 1949-50 and also the 1969-70 seasons.

The crest depicted on these programmes, the one that I referred to up top at the start as being too like one from East Lancs, was in use by the club from at least 1947 until the early 1970s.
As stated, I have not been able to confirm exactly when the crest was adopted, but all the indications are that it appeared post WWII. If anyone knows more than that, I would be delighted to know more myself.
What I have found out is that it appears to have been a reluctant change. It seems that the City Council either refused to give continued permission for the city’s crest to be used, or perhaps objected, and perhaps permission may have never been given in the first place.
I glean this from the fact that, on 13 December 1961, The Liverpool Echo reported that Liverpool City Council had turned down a request from Liverpool FC to use the city’s Coat of Arms as its club crest. It was turned down by the “Finance and General Purposes Committee” before the decision was confirmed at a full Council meeting. The Club directors were reported to be “surprised and disappointed” at not being allowed to follow the likes of Newcastle United (amongst others), who wore the “coat of arms of their municipality”. The board felt that the club could do more for the city by wearing the Coat of Arms in games in England and abroad.
I have not been able to find any further (or for that matter, earlier) requests of this nature between club and city council, which suggests that this request was not repeated (or if it was, it was not so well reported), so this refusal in 1961 to allow Liverpool FC to use the Coat of Arms – just prior to promotion back to the top flight – would seem to be very important to the future development of the club crest.
As with the Liver bird itself, the club crest became something other than the city’s crest, with a life and development very much of its own. Why that separation occurred remains a mystery.
This post WWII crest also appeared on an official match programme as recently as 1981…and on no less than the 1981 European Cup Final programme (Paris, of course)…and in full colour .
One wonders if the full-coloured version of this crest explains why green has been used by the club on kits and on our current club crest. Perhaps it was there since this crest was adopted, but we didn’t know or realise it at the time because of it usually appearing to us in two-tone colours. Perhaps it was because of the seaweed?
Whilst this crest was used as recently as 1981, it was from 1970 that the club gradually replaced it on programmes, tickets and official documents.
Ticket Books for Director’s boxes at Anfield, for example, did not reflect the change until 1972, whilst club programmes flitted between this crest and various versions of the subsequent club crest until 1974, when, apart from this 1981 programme, this crest essentially disappeared from official club use.
Next are some examples of the subsequent club crest as it has appeared on merchandise from 1970. They demonstrate how the crests used varied considerably in style. They also show how these crests overlapped with each other, apparently due to inconsistent and un-coordinated use.
This crest (aside) from a 1970 programme appeared on programmes until 1977-78, but it was not alone during this period…

1978-79

This is where it gets a little bit confusing.
The crest (right) from 1978-79 official programmes, appeared on such as early as 1971-72 and was also used on the 1974 FA Cup Final programme. It may also depict the Liver bird style used in the first “This is Anfield” sign.
It also appears on the 1989 Liverpool v Celtic Hillsborough Disaster Appeal match programme, and in 1982 on an official annual.
These following two crests (re-created from programmes, the latter from a scan) overlap each other, as well as the crests above, in their usage.

The crest on the left can be found on 1979-80 and 1980-81 Anfield programmes, as well as the 1984 European Cup Final Programme (Rome, of course), whereas the crest on the right can be found in both the 1981 League Cup Final and replay programmes (as well as in the ones for 1982, 1983 and 1984!).
The latter (right) crest was indeed prevalent on official merchandise throughout the 1980s, including away game programmes. So which one of these was the official crest?
Tickets and documents from the early 1970s indicate that this crest came into being in 1970 and was presumably our official crest from then.
The crest on official tickets from 1972-73 (the earliest I can date this exact version, aside) appears on later documents that show it is a Registered Trade Mark. As the club used a variety of similar crests from 1970, all of which would be considered as generally the same crest, and protected under that same Trade Mark Registration, this indicates that there was a laissez faire attitude to the accuracy of its use: so long as it was close enough to that design, it was OK. They were all official crests, therefore, even if the one aside was the one used on headed paper and specifically noted as being a Registered Trade Mark.
When checking the current state of words and images that are Registered as Trade Marks by the club, I received my pleasant little surprise.
I was not too surprised with what the club has currently registered (which you can check for yourself through the Intellectual Property Office web site), and indeed they still have one of the variety of club crests used between 1970-92 registered, which as I say, should cover any and all such used. The pleasant surprise for me was which one.
It was not the one that was so prevalent and appeared on official documents; nor any of the ones that appeared on club programmes; but this one:
My one! The exact same crest as depicted on my old plastic plaque!
Check it out for yourself: go to the IPO site and look for the Trade Mark under reference 1099121.
It is likely, although old records no longer exist to confirm this, that this was merely the last one of several Registered Trade Mark images in the 1970s, as whilst it should cover the various ones used, the Club probably registered more than one version in order to be safe. The others would have been left to expire over time and when the crest changed in 1992, the last one remaining registered by the club was kept current in order to continue to protect its interests, with regard to “retro” style clothing and other merchandise, such as replica kits with this crest on, from 1987-1992.
This brings us to a period that signalled the end to the apparent division between shirt and merchandise crests, which had never been one and the same. In 1987, the shirt crest (left), which had for many years been a Liver bird over the legend, “LFC” was altered to match the club crest on merchandise, and ushered in the beginning of a more co-ordinated approach.
This shirt crest still retains the Liver bird ‘look’ that seems to have evolved over time on our shirts, probably because of the nature of embroidery. Our current Liver bird appears to have come about as a ‘merger’ between the printed or merchandised versions, and the appearance that a stitched or embossed design on the team shirts gave.
To demonstrate what I mean, here are the covers of the 1989 Hillsborough 45rpm single, as well as a 1991 Official Annual.

Both are obviously slight variations on our ‘usual’ crest of the time, with the one on the annual appearing on a number of annuals around that time.
The Hillsborough single cover, however, depicts a unique Liver bird. It is probable therefore that it is a specially created and unofficial version of our crest (not that anyone was likely to complain about it, given its purpose), which effectively merges the look of both the shirt crest and the official merchandise crest, and for our Liver bird, was a sign of things to come.
With the shirt and merchandise crests now more-or-less the same, subsequent crest changes became more co-ordinated and standardised.

When the crest was significantly altered for the 1992-93 season, to mark our club’s centenary, this historic change (now incorporating the Shankly Gates) led to a 1993 post-centenary version, with more symbolic changes (the eternal flames), before the crest was changed to our current crest, c1999.

With regard to club kits, our current crest initially appeared in two-tone on the green away kit of 1999, and also in two-tone on other subsequent kits (including our historic 2001 treble kits), until a full-colour version finally appeared on kits in 2002. Although its colour scheme on away shirts has varied since then, the crest itself has not altered.

Other LFC Club Crests.

There is of course another very well known LFC crest:
I do not know exactly when the This is Anfield (TIA) sign appeared above the tunnel at Anfield, and would be interested in hearing from anyone who does. I know it was in Shankly’s time, and probably about the same time as the crest changed (c1970).
I understand that there may be some stories associated with it…
As the two images (above) indicate, the Liver bird has also evolved and changed within the TIA sign over the years, in line with the other club crests, but otherwise the TIA sign is quite literally part of the furniture.
There have been a number of other unique club crests over the years, mostly shirt specials for Cup Finals (e.g. the 1965 FA Cup Final, aside) and other one-off matches, including, a couple of crests produced by Crown Paints in the mid-80s. You can find one on Liverweb, plus there are examples on merchandise here.

After becoming European Champions for the fifth time in 2005, we became entitled to a multiple winner’s badge.
This gave the club plenty of opportunity for merchandising, hence our crowned “Champions of Europe” Liver bird.

Mystery Crests

It was noticed in an online football forum that in a 1973 picture of Bill Shankly, our legendary manager appears to have a unique club crest on his blazer. Another image of Bill Shankly from 1964 with this (or a similar) blazer can also be found here.
Also, from Peter Crilly’s “Tops of the Kop” book (page 64), there is an image of Shanks in what seems to be this blazer, which is from c1959-1962.

There is also this image (below) from the Anfield Museum, plus a re-creation of the crest, originating from http://liverlogos.blogspot.com.

So where did this come from?

The Club Museum also has another blazer crest.

The card reads: “CLUB BADGE.

An unusual and rare club badge, worn by Bill Shankly on a club blazer. The exact date is unknown. We are seeking any pictures of him wearing this blazer.”


Was it simply commonplace for crest designs to be left open to artistic interpretation, and were these perhaps something that Shanks’ ‘tailor’, or some other such person created?
This is why I started searching through old images of club officials for blazers and ties. It seems our first blazer crest was commonly worn by players and team officials during the Shankly era, and indeed appears to be on the club blazers worn when they returned from the 1971 FA Cup Final, when Shanks gave his famous “Chairman Mao” speech.
It seems that there are a number of unique or not well known versions of our club crest, perhaps appearing in colours that we didn’t usually see them in, and were custom made by individuals, or for club officials.
Pictures that I have found of Chairman, John Smith, c1980, and several club directors (e.g. Syd Moss), show a contemporary style of crest, but full-coloured, with the moss or seaweed in the Liver bird’s beak looking distinctly green in colour.
Do you know of or recall any Liver bird, and whatever it has in its beak, on an official club crest, that was anything more than one colour?
Actually, I can think of one.
That Liver bird in turn reminds me of the gold crest on gates around the ground…
I’m not suggesting that there is anything terribly wrong with club officials having their own versions of the club crest on blazers or ties, but if full-colour versions of our club crest were exclusively available to club officials, particularly at a time when club crests tended to appear to the rest of us in one colour or in two-tone, then I would at least be interested in seeing what they looked like. For example, is that crest on the 1981 European Cup Final programme a true, full-colour representation of our post-war club crest for over 20 years?
How many more are there from our past?
If you know anything about the gaps in knowledge here, particularly if you have some form of evidence, then I would be happy, if not delighted, to hear from you.
I end with a time-line of the crests.
1901
1923
1935
1947
1950 (Shirt)
1955 (Shirt)
1969 (Shirt)
1970 – 1992
1976 (Shirt)
1985 (Shirt)
1987 (Shirt)
1992
1993
1999
2005

How SOS is controlling the forums and “The Kop” and why LFC staff let them

Serious debate on the Liverpool FC forums is being stifled by the fact that there are so many Spirit of Shankly (SOS) members and moderators that are members, that unbiased debate is only possible when what is stated is of no consequence.

Here is the excerpt of an email sent between two forum members about SOS having de facto control over the Liverpool FC forums:

I am currently a member [of SOS] but have been thinking for some time of not renewing. My concerns are that they seem to be becoming more militant than at first and are starting to give me some concerns as a member as they did with you. I do know Mickey [a Moderator, username “MickeyLove”] is heavily involved with SOS as are a few other members and moderators too. I find that if you speak against them on the boards you are battered down quite quickly. Also just to beware that if you talk down SOS on the forums many will go against you it just seems to be the general view on there and you will not get anywhere.

Over March and April, 2011, I, a long-time Liverpool fan, who didn’t post often on the forums, but had become a regular user of “The Kop”, the new social network platform on the official club site, had been blogging about Spirit of Shankly without apparent issue, however, I saw a post on the forums about Spirit of Shankly, I went onto the forums and made some of the points I had blogged about.

The aforementioned moderator kept trying to tell people that I was wrong, and that I was a “crank” – however when this person posted what was supposed to be last post in the thread, after becoming fed-up of Mickey’s abuse and misinformation, as well as pointing out that Mickey was disputing facts that had been obtained from Spirit of Shankly, Mickey’s response was to delete the post as “Spam”, and a subsequent one complaining about the deletion, for “Trolling”.

Mickey’s behaviour had already been reported, but I was amazed when instead of Mickey being dealt with, that I had my user account frozen and was given a life-time ban on the forums!

Why? For calling Mickey a liar, that’s why. According to Matt Owen, the person responsible for both the forums, and the ‘The Kop’ it’s against the rules – even when it was so obviously true, and has been demonstrated as being true.

Also, Matt Owen stated;

Having ignored warnings concerning your use of these platforms your posting rights on each platform are now withdrawn.”

I received no such warnings. I had written and complained about the moderator, Mickey, and initially received an incomplete response, which included the paragraph:

It seems from reviewing your posts that you have a dispute with the Spirit of Shankly supporters organisation. Clearly I cannot speak for them and can only suggest you take any concerns up with them directly. Neither The Kop nor the Official Forums are suitable formats for resolving such a dispute and I therefore respectfully suggest that you use other channels to pursue this matter.

Now would you take that as a warning about being thrown off the forums – let alone as warnings, plural?

Aside from the inherent assumptions that Matt Owen has appeared to make about any supposed “dispute”, the concept that forums and blogs for and about Liverpool supporters should not include any kind of debate or discussion about The Liverpool Supporters Union, seems to be at the very least, incongruous with the very nature of forums and blogs, particularly on the official site for LFC supporters, but this paragraph also appears to constitute the multiple “warnings” that Matt was referring to – in an email he had sent to the user after he had both removed the user’s accounts and further edited the thread.

Oddly, the original accusation of lying, was made in public on the forum thread, but that post was not removed!

http://forums.liverpoolfc.tv/showthread.php?t=177847&page=37?

If this accusation was the basis for being banned, how come it was left – and how come Matt Owen then claims that Mickey didn’t know what he was supposed to have lied about, and accepted that as true!?

Perhaps the ire of the digital media staff was heightened as I initially managed to get around Mickey’s deletion of my posts by creating a blog about censorship on the forums, and then nipping onto the forums a minute before they closed for the night and posting in the thread comment that linked back to the blog.

The post remained there all night for people to see, so come the next morning, Mickey had a dilemma as to whether or not to remove the post or not. He chose not to.

That evening, Spirit of Shankly officials came onto the blog, posting misleading information, similar to what they have subsequently posted on their web site (and tried to do on The Liverpool Way), and offering me a private meeting. I posted my thoughts about the posts and declined the meeting, stating that SOS could make their case in public, but had constantly failed to do so. This was my last post before my account was removed.

Mickey’s false and inaccurate responses on the forum remain, despite vociferous complaints to Matt Owen, and then Paul Rogers, Matt’s boss, whose name was supplied by Matt to go to – but who apparently can’t be bothered with such things.

I am working tirelessly to improve the content from Club media and my time is best served trying to improve the business for the supporters and the owners, for the overall good of the Club.

(Translation: I swan around the world writing puff pieces.)

I have two young daughters who tend to argue like children a lot so I don’t feel the need to get involved in any other disputes at work so if you have an issue with SOS or Matt, I suggest you continue your discussion directly with them – and not involve me.

What sort of response is that, to a complaint about a member of his staff? Is this supposed to be from a paid, professional member of staff, representing the club?

Does he really think that a complaint should be handled that way? I am too important to be bothered with this and I have a family at home? Who cares – and who pays his wages?

He says he works “tirelessly” for supporters, but can’t be arsed to act on their behalf when it comes to dealing with complaints against his staff.

Paul Rogers apparently feels that he is above this sort of thing, and instead prefers to delegate complaints back to the member of staff being complained about. Brilliant management that: Guaranteed to mean that there are no complaints to speak of.

Spirit of Shankly are of course delighted, and were no doubt responsible for this. These self-important members of staff had happily allowed me to use their forums for some years, and “The Kop” for blogging and commenting, amongst other things, almost since it started, but as soon as there was some serious criticism about Spirit of Shankly on the forums, which are far more active and read than most of the blogs on “The Kop”, then they didn’t want the aggro, and my account was history.

My unblemished history, as well as supportive comments on their blogs from a number of other commentators, were ignored by the Digital Media staff.

Clearly, what has happened here is that the staff couldn’t be bothered with the hassle that Spirit of Shankly were giving them over my criticism, and they’ve come up with an excuse to cut-off one person, just to make their lives easier. The emails and the reasons given by Matt Owen are an absolute travesty, and the response from Paul Rogers is about as arrogant as they come.

Clearly, the Digital Media Staff at Liverpool FC don’t care about doing the right thing, just the most expedient thing for their benefit. This is how the likes of Mickey Love, forum moderator, gets to delete criticism from the LFC forums, as spam, without fear of punishment, and where reports of spamming by SOS, constantly trawling for new members, gets ignored.

Almost as soon as I had my accounts shut-down, SOS got their propaganda machine going and changed their web site and wrote on various forums, with regard to the most recent issue for concern, which is their pushing of a season ticket loan scheme that commits the loan applicant to saving into a Spirit of Shankly takeover of Liverpool FC; or in other words, commit to saving for two things, instead of one.

A person who had checked the small print and thought to tell other LFC supporters, had been gagged from doing so on the official site.

It seems that SOS’s well-documented bully-boy tactics have proven to be fruitful. The club staff would rather let them get on with what they want than deal with them, even if it means falsifying reasons to throw me, a life-long supporter, off their interactive forums and media, without notice, or clear warning; a place where I had made new friends, helping some of them out with their media, and had also spent a lot of time writing, not just about Spirit of Shankly, but about the club’s history and about supporting Japan and Japanese LFC supporters, following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

You might find it interesting to note that I had been in contact with the forum staff in the days immediately prior to being banned, in order to help highlight issues in using the social media platform, that the development staff were unaware of. Obviously, I must be a complete shit for doing that.

The day before being banned, I had an email saying:

We’ve now replicated and confirmed the problem and alerted the development team. I’ll let you know when there’s any news on a fix.”

The email was from Matt Owen.

Perhaps unwittingly showing-up the lack of management of the forums, and The Kop, was not the only real reason that I got banned. The site staff are evidently very sensitive to anyone who show them up, whether they intended to or not.

Spirit of Shankly/Partners Season Ticket Loans

Why is The Liverpool Supporters Union, Spirit of Shankly, trying to flog a season ticket loan scheme through a credit union, that requires you to save with the Spirit of Shankly Share Scheme, just to be eligible to get the loan?

Per the application form:

To be eligible for this loan you need to have been a member of the Credit Union for 10 weeks and to have been paying money into the SOS Share Account with Partners on a regular basis.”

That’s right: Before you can even get the loan for a season ticket, you have to save into a scheme which gives you no dividend, and may incur fees, and was set-up in order to save for a share into a Spirit of Shankly takeover of Liverpool Football Club.

In other words, you must save up for something else, as well as your season ticket.

However, Spirit of Shankly (SOS) claims that the Share Scheme is not a fixed-purpose scheme, but instead;

“… allows you to save for anything – holidays, European trips, future Season Tickets, and if you wish, a future stake in any supporter investment.”

Really? Then why are you forced to save into it, then, before getting a season ticket loan, when it provides no dividend?

Joining the credit union means saving with it for 10 weeks before you become eligible to apply for any financial product or service, and before you even have the ability to save into this share scheme, and then show you are saving regularly into the share scheme, before being eligible for a season ticket loan.

So how much must you save into the share scheme to be eligible for the loan? What does a “regular basis” mean? How long is it? How much is it?

And why then also, does Partners, the Credit Union running the scheme, state on their web site;

“Share withdrawals will not generally be available on this account because of the reasons why it was set up, however we will allow one withdrawal per calendar year to allow for emergencies.”

That doesn’t sound like you can save up and use the money in this scheme for “anything”, as SOS claims. It appears to mean that you need to be able to demonstrate ‘good cause’ for taking money out of the SOS Share account, which you can only do once a year – otherwise you must use this account for the purpose that it was created – for an SOS takeover share.

This is clearly contrary to what SOS claims.

Another aspect of the small print that SOS also neglects to mention is that whatever you save into your regular credit union account, that you have to save into for the first ten weeks, cannot be withdrawn whilst you are repaying a loan. So, if you do save regularly for the first ten weeks, then are able to save regularly into the SOS share scheme, and then get a loan for a season ticket, those funds in that first account cannot be withdrawn until you pay back the loan.

What is currently unclear, is whether you must continue to save into this regular account after the first ten weeks, if you have started saving into the SOS share scheme. Must you also maintain the regular account with continued savings? If you do, then that means you have to save into it for ten weeks, then save into it for a further undefined period, whilst you also save into the SOS Share scheme, before you become eligible for your season ticket loan.

In other words, there may not be another one, but another two other accounts to save into, before you get a loan, and that you may have to continue to save into, whilst you are also paying your loan back.

Apart from the highly questionable SOS advertising, this deal stinks.

You may as well keep it simple and save up through the regular credit union account that you have to set-up in the first place, and take out a loan based on those savings.

It begs the question; why is Spirit of Shankly is advertising misleadingly a scheme forcing, not just new members, but its current members, to save for a share issue, in order to get a season ticket?

Why connect the season ticket to the share scheme at all?

Spirit of Shankly have obtained permission from the new Managing Director of Liverpool FC, Ian Ayre, to distribute leaflets around the stadium for this loan. He has been made aware of the apparent discrepancies over the claims made about it, but at the time of writing, is not known to have done anything – such as to stop the distribution of these materials to Liverpool supporters, for a financial product that is not all it is cracked-up to be.

Addendum:
Following attempts to mislead people on my now defunct Kop blogs, SOS Committee Member, Paul Gardner, but now with SOS Secretary, Graham Smith, in tow, are at it again, but this time on the Liverpool Way forum, in a thread here.

Whilst trying to tell someone that there is confusion over the SOS Share Scheme, with Smith trying to say that, there is no link between the SOS Share Scheme and Season Ticket Loans (“It isn’t linked“), and “it is merely the saving part of the scheme that qualifies you for the loan element…”

However, their target was having none of it:

Quite clearly if I want to get a loan this way, I am being made to save up for an SOS Share. Effectively I would need to save for two things. I reject that idea on principle, and as I cannot see how much and for how long I would need to save up and wait before even being eligible for a season ticket loan, this entire scheme looks too vague and uncertain to go with, with catches that may cost me yet more money down the road.

The SOS Share scheme offers no dividend, and a fee may get charged, so there is no way you can tell how much money that getting a season ticket loan this way will eventually cost you, even though you are supposed to pay it back within 12 months.

I don’t know who’s idea this scheme was, but it looks like a dog’s breakfast to me, and I am inclined to avoid it.”

I have also learned that Partners were asked on 23 April 2011 the following questions about the SOS Season Ticket Loan Scheme. They have not (yet) replied.

After saving £2pw with you for 10 weeks in a regular credit union share account, how much do I have to save into the SOS Share Account before being able to get a season ticket loan?

If I start saving into the SOS Share Account, do I have to keep saving £2pw as well?

Why is it a requirement to have to save for an SOS Share to get this season ticket loan?

What happens when I save the £500 for a share? How would I become eligible for a season ticket loan then?


(Remember that you may be paying the c£700+ cost of a Season Ticket every year)

You say that you can get money out of the SOS Share Account only once a year for emergencies. Can you explain to me what an emergency might be and give an example of something that is not an emergency?

You say: SAVINGS CANNOT BE WITHDRAWN FROM SHARE ACCOUNT 1 WHILST YOU ARE REPAYING ANY LOAN.

Is share account 1 the regular credit union account you setup at the start that you pay £2pw into? If no, then what is it?

Am I not better off just saving up to get a loan for about £800 as a normal credit union member or does the selected season ticket loan have a different interest rate?

What’s the benefit of a spirit of shankly season ticket loan instead of a regular credit union loan for the same amount?

What indeed…