Leicester City Badge: Riding Crops, Fox Hunting and Cinquefoils

What is a badge in any case? It is a complicated question to answer.

Perhaps the most ubiquitous symbol of your football club is a historic heraldic design that harkens back to the local coat of arms, or a sleek, modern design meant to look effortless on modern sportswear.

But why is there a tree? Or a bee? Or a devil? SQUIRREL!

This week, the athletic is to break down the details that hide in plain sight and explain what makes your club’s badge.

To many around the world, Leicester City are The Foxes, but the club had no association with the flaming-haired canine predators until 1948, when they adopted the image for their first crest.

Although formed as Leicester Fosse in 1884 and became City in 1919, the club had no crest, except on rare occasions when Fosse wore the Leicester City coat of arms: a wyvern (a winged serpent shaped dragon) set in a cinquefoil (a five-petaled flower), derived from the heraldic crests of the Earls of Leicester in the 12th and 13th centuries.

Leicester Fosse Badge

According to club historian John Hutchinson, the directors’ minute book from July 1948 provides the first documentary evidence linking Leicester to the Foxes, with a single sentence reading: “New shirt crest design approved “.

“One of the directors at the time was Sid Needham and he was associated with Atherstone Hunt,” says Hutchinson. “Until then, clubs didn’t have crests on their shirts unless it was a special occasion.

“Within minutes it says that they had decided to have a crest and because of the links to Atherstone Hunt, they would have a fox head with whips under the badge. The first badge was based on a drawing of a head, or “mask”, of a fox killed by Atherstone Hunt in 1922.

Leicester City Badge

The drawing on which the original club crest was based (Image: LCFC)

“The original crest based on the design was first used in the 1948-49 season, and the version was only used that season and in the FA Cup final at the end of that season (which Leicester lost 3-1 to Wolverhampton Wanderers). It was just a shield with a fox’s head in red and the letters L, C and FC around the corners of the shield.”

Leicester City Badge

The club’s first crest (Image: LCFC)

The following year they modified the shield and regularly adjusted it until 1982, but it was always based on a similar theme. The fox’s head was usually placed within a shield shape with whips, but between 1973 and 1979 it sat in a roundel.

dennis rofe

A close-up of Dennis Rofe’s jersey badge in 1978 (Photo: S&G/PA Images via Getty Images)

In the 1980s, there was a diversion from the fox head theme to a side view of a running fox and the crops were discarded.

gary lineker

Gary Lineker wearing the ‘sideways’ fox badge in 1984 (Photo: David Cannon/Allsport/Getty Images)

The last appearance of that badge was in the 1992 play-off final against Blackburn Rovers for a place in the first Premier League.

In 1992 the crest was completely revamped again, reverting to a fox’s head, but facing forward within a circular shield. Once again the crops were left out due to their association with fox hunting, which was becoming a controversial subject, and the fox’s head was placed on a cinquefoil, like a white rose, which was taken from the heraldic crest of what was now the city. of Leicester, just like the rare original design worn by Fosse.

Leicester City Coat of Arms

Leicester crest painted on a wall (Photo: Manchester United via Getty Images)

“The fox head represents Leicestershire because the county has the fox on its emblem,” explains Hutchinson. “The cinquefoil is the city of Leicester, so it symbolizes the whole county in one emblem and recognizes the support the club had throughout the county.

“The actual letters around the fox have changed over time with different fonts for the letters and the fox’s cheeks have changed from gold to white.

“But generally speaking, that is the same design as the one the club wears today, although recent kits have experimented with the color to match the kit design. Often everything is one color.”

The club crest has played an important part in Leicester City’s identity, giving rise to the club’s now-recognized nickname of The Foxes, although even that is somewhat more recent.

For many decades the club was known simply as The City, and although The Foxes derive from the crest, it only became a common nickname in the 1970s and 1980s.

Even today, many die-hard fans only refer to the team as City, or ‘Citeh’ if you speak in the local Leicestershire accent.

(Top image: design by Samuel Richardson)