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The Beautiful Badge The Stories Behind the Football Club Badge By Martyn Routledge & Elspeth Wills

Release date: 01st September, 2018
Publisher: Pitch Publishing

List Price: 25.00
Our Price: 19.49
You Save: 5.51 (22%)
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One of the most enjoyable aspects of reviewing sports books is the opportunity it affords to read such a variety of material and to occasionally happen upon an absolutely compelling title and wonder ‘why hasn’t this been done before?’.

This was your reviewer’s reaction when offered the chance to run the rule over The Beautiful Badge, a wonderfully presented, comprehensive history of the football badges that adorn the shirts of football clubs, large and small, across the land. Quite simply, it’s a fantastic, engrossing, un-put-downable book that deserves a place in any football fan’s library.

For this, we should say ‘well done’ to all at Pitch Publishing, perhaps the nation’s most innovative sports book publisher, and extend hearty congratulations to the authors who have clearly undertaken an enormous volume of research and my, how it shows.

“The badge on the front of the shirt is more important than the name on the back,” said Paul Gascoigne and in these days of badge kissing (a chapter is devoted to this modern phenomenon), no truer word was spoken.

Yet TBB is less interested in the kissing antics of Carlos Kickaball and much more focused on individual club histories.

Cleverly, however, rather than simply provide a history of each club’s badge in alphabetical order, the authors have built their chapters around themes that might be common to a number of different clubs. For instance, there are dozens of badges featuring animals, or Latin mottos, or have been regularly redesigned.

Then there are badges that the club’s supporters have voted for: at Everton and QPR, for instance, while there are other symbols that have riled the folks coming through the turnstiles – at Hull City and Cardiff City, for example.

Another chapter is devoted to clubs who, when they were intent on redesigning their badges, invited submissions from fans and others. Ben Cooper, who won the competition to design Dagenham & Redbridge’s new badge in 2015, was offered either two season tickets or £500; he chose the latter. Jamie Stevenson, who designed a new badge for Ayr United, was given a replica shirt, some merchandise and no doubt enjoyed “the prestige of winning”.

Protest badges; stars on badges; badges to commemorate events or big games. They’re all here. If you’re a football fan, treat yourself and buy The Beautiful Badge.

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