Why Do Liverpool Have Two Badges? (Revealed)

Liverpool fans with large flag

Have you ever noticed Liverpool seem to have more than one club crest?

Look at their shirts and then compare the crest to that which appears everywhere else, ie on the programme, magazine, website, etc, etc.

So why do Liverpool have two badges?

We explain it in this article.

Let’s get started.

Why Do Liverpool Have Two Badges?

In 2012, when they changed kit supplier, Liverpool introduced a ‘kit badge’. This features the Liver bird and is found purely on the club’s official kit. There is a separate club badge that is found on everything else related to the club, ie programmes, magazines and the website.

Two men wearing retro football inspired t shirts with text in between them

The Club Badge and the Kit Badge

Liverpool Badges

Liverpool has a universal club badge (above left) and a kit badge (above right).

The club badge is the shield, with two burning beacons on either side, with ‘Est 1892’ running beneath it and ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ running above it, with the Shankly Gates above that.

The kit badge is the Liver bird, with ‘L.F.C’ beneath it.

The kit badge was re-introduced in 2012 when Liverpool changed its kit supplier from Adidas to the American company Warrior.

I sat re-introduced because if you look at the kits worn by Liverpool during their periods of dominance in the 1960s, 70s, 80s you will see a very similar-looking badge on the club’s shirts

However during that period (from 1950 to 1992) it was the club’s sole badge.

In 1992 Liverpool changed from a badge featuring only the Liver bird to a more detailed club crest which also included the ‘You’ll Never Work Alone’ wording and the Shankley Gates, and later two burning beacons – the justice flames honoring the Hillsborough campaign.

Then in 2012, they added the aforementioned kit badge alongside the club badge.

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At the time the decision to remove the club badge from shirts and replace it with the new kit badge did cause some consternation from families of those killed in the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.

They were upset that the justice flames were no longer appearing on the front of the shirt. They had instead been moved to the back of the shirt.

At the time Liverpool’s Director of Communications Jen Chang explained the usage of the two badges, saying:

“Our official badge remains the same for all non-kit inventory – the badge on the kit is just for new Warrior kit/apparel.”

The Meaning Behind the Kit Badge

Liverpool kit badge

The Liverpool kit badge is quite simply a Liver bird with ‘L.F.C’ below it.

But that begs the question, what is a Liver bird?

The Liver bird is a mythical creature that is Liverpool’s official symbol and has had links with the city for over 800 years.

When a coat of arms was created for the city in 1797 the Liver bird was incorporated, and the next time you visit Liverpool keep your eyes peeled for the creature, there are over 100 Liver birds in the city.

The story of the Liver bird goes even further back than that though, right back to 1229 when King Henry III gave permission for the people of Liverpool to self-govern.

A unique seal was created to authenticate documents. The seal actually featured an eagle, but when it was lost in 1644 a new seal was made.

Whether deliberately, or simply as a mistake, the new seal saw the eagle replaced by a cormorant, which over time became known as the ‘mythical liver bird’.

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As mentioned there are over 100 Liver birds in the city, but the most famous pair sit atop the Royal Liver building, which opened in 1911.

The birds rest 18ft apart on the rooftop and are named Bella and Bertie.

Bella looks out to sea to make sure Liverpool’s seamen arrive safely in port, whilst Bertie looks in the opposite direction towards the city watching over the people of Liverpool.

Legend has it that if they were ever to face towards each other, Liverpool would cease to exist…

Meaning Behind the Club Badge

Liverpool club badge

We have already established the meaning behind the Liver bird, which is the centre point of Liverpool’s club badge, but what of the rest of it?

At the bottom is the year the club was established, 1892. Liverpool was actually established following a dispute between Everton and John Houlding who was the club president and the owner of the land at Anfield where Everton played at the time.

Everton were unhappy about the proposed rent increases at Anfield and left to find a new ground. 

Left with an empty ground Houlding decided to form a new club and Liverpool FC were born.

On either side of the Liver bird are two burning flames, added in 1993 to remember the victims of the Hillsborough disaster.

The Hillsborough Memorial at Anfield features the names of those killed during the tragedy, with two eternally burning flames encased inside the memorial.

Running directly across the top of the crest is the title of the club’s anthem ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and the Shankly Gates.

‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ was written by Rodgers and Hammerstein for their 1945 musical Carousel.

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But it really became associated with Liverpool after local band Gerry and the Pacemakers covered it in 1963 and it then gained popularity on the terraces of Anfield.

It is sung before every home game and its lyrics about solidarity and togetherness gained extra poignancy following Hillsborough.

The song title can be seen beneath the actual Shankly Gates at Anfield.

The Shankly Gates can be found on the Anfield Road side of the ground, next to the Hillsborough memorial.

They were erected in honour of Liverpool’s legendary manager Bill Shankly and were officially unlocked for the first time on 26 August 1982 by his widow Nessie, 11 months after Shankly’s passing.

Like the eternal flames, the Shankly Gates and the ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ wording were added to the club badge in 1993.

Final Thoughts

Why Do Liverpool Have Two Badges infographics

Hopefully this, along with the infographic above, explains exactly why Liverpool have two badges, a kit badge and a club badge.

The Liver bird has featured prominently on the club badge since the club was founded in 1892, with the Shankly Gates and burning flames being added in light of the Hillsborough disaster.

A quick visual overview of the Liverpool badge shows how it has changed over the years.

The kit badge was added in 2012 and is literally just that, found on club apparel, the club badge is found on everything else associated with Liverpool FC.

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