Heritage Bradford City Football Club Badges in classic designs
Bradford City AFC Club Crests
 
 
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Summary history of club crests and characters adopted by Bradford City AFC since 1903
Valley Parade is known as the home of the bantams but other creatures have also taken residence in the 111 year history of the ground. For example, prior to the last war it is understood that hens were kept under the old Main Stand and stray cats were regularly adopted by the groundstaff up to 1985. The modern day colony of bats at Valley Parade is thought to be a more recent phenomenon but mechanised lawn-mowers have long since replaced the sheep which were used to trim the grass until the 1930's.
 
 
 
 

The origins of the club’s unique claret and amber colours are in the club’s links with the West Yorkshire Regiment. For example the Manningham rugby club and the newly formed Bradford City used the nearby Belle Vue Barracks as changing facilities.

Bradford City's 'Bantams' identity arose from the suggested resemblance of their claret and amber strip to the plumage of bantams. The club had originally adopted a horseshoe as a lucky charm but its loss in 1909 had prompted the daughter of club director Tony Fattorini (of the firm that made the FA Cup trophy first won by City in 1911) to suggest adopting a bantam. There was no objection to being associated with the small but fearless fighting creatures and the nickname was encouraged by the club.

The original bantam character that featured in the club’s 1909/10 handbook and programme was based a breed associated with a fighting bird (badge ref 0105) – contrast this with the current bantam character on the current club crest that is not even coloured in claret or amber!

 

There are a number of reports from before the Great War that refer to live bantams being taken to games by supporters as mascots for the team. (This was repeated at an important promotion game at Sheffield United in 1982). By contrast, Manningham's claret and amber hoops had earned them the nickname 'The Wasps' although at one stage they were called 'The Robins'.

In the early years City were also referred to as 'The Citizens'. The original 1847 Bradford arms (badge ref 0806 & 0807) was adopted by the new Bradford City club in 1903 and the (1907) Bradford coat of arms (badge ref 0101 / 0102) was then used as the club's formal crest until 1966. The Bradford coat of arms adorned the central gable of the Midland Road stand during City's First Division years and until the mid-1920's. During the inter-war period 'The Paraders' identity was more frequently used and it was also adopted as the title of the club's programme in the 1930's.

In the 1950's the 'Bantams' identity was revived and the Burlington Terrace offices overlooking the Kop were adorned with a hoarding on which a bantam character with ball (similar to the Spurs crest) was painted (badge ref 0106 / 0808).

 
Bradford City AFC Club Crests

This same crest was used briefly as a shirt badge (badge ref 0809). The club’s supporters and shareholders’ association adopted the bantam for its own badge design, based on the contemporary graphic for the BSA bantam motorbike approx 1960 (badge ref 1101).

A bantam character also adorned the cover of the club programme in 1964 (badge ref 0107).

 
 
 
             
 
Bradford City AFC Club Crests

After 1966 Stafford Heginbotham actively marketed 'The Parader' identity alongside the City Gent character (badge ref 0601) introduced as City’s version of World Cup Willie in March 1966 as marketing fever swept English football and many traditional crests were replaced with modern alternatives. At the same time the club introduced a crest which included the civic feature of a boar's head (badge ref 0103).

 
Bradford City AFC Club Crests

In 1974 City adopted a contemporary style crest incorporating the club's initials ('the bc logo') although maintained the nickname of the 'Paraders'. The BC logo represented a modern derivation of the scroll badge that appeared in the inter-war period albeit with limited application (other than enamel badges of that period (badge refs 0803 / 0804 / 0805)).

 

 
Bradford City AFC Club Crests

By the early 1980's 'Paraders' had an empty resonance given the state of Valley Parade and in December, 1981 the club relaunched the 'Bantams' as the official identity. There were three different bantams crests adopted by the club between Dec-81 and May-85; the second version introduced in 1983 (badge ref 1002 & 1003) incorrectly stated the formation of the club as 1908 but this was withdrawn within a year.

 
 

The club's programme for the start of the 1981/82 season was titled 'Parader' and the cover featured a silhouette of a floodlight and stand. Few City fans realised that designer Peter Bell, an old Avenue fan, had used a photograph of Park Avenue for the design. Thankfully a new Bantams programme from December 1981 saved any further embarrassment!

Stafford Heginbotham reintroduced his boar's head and shield at the start of 1985/86 season (albeit with different proportions – the different version of boar’s head was also used by Bradford Northern and Bradford Council at that time) and this was retained until the end of 1990/91. Apart from this relatively short period a bantam has been the main feature of City's crests for the best part of the last thirty years (ie since the end of 1981).

Notable is the fact that the bantam of the current City crest is much more ‘hen-like’ than all the previous versions of bantam designs that were most definitely cockrels. In fact the original bantam of 1909 (badge ref 0105) features a breed more recognisable as a fighting bird. Subsequent bantam designs (badge ref 0106, 0107 & 1101) were cockrels whereas the current 1991 bantam variant cannot be described as such and was likely a generic piece of clip art. It is ironic that having originally adopted a bantam as club mascot in 1909 on account of claret and amber plumage the club’s modern bantam character does not even feature those colours in its design!

 
 
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Summary of Bradford City AFC club crests
1903 to 2010
 
 
 
  Bradford City City Gent Badges   Bradford City City Gent Badges   Bradford City City Gent Badges      
 

The civic crests used by Bradford City FC between 1903-07 and 1907-66 respectively.
All available through the Paraders series.

 
  Bradford City City Gent Badges   Bradford City City Gent Badges   Bradford City City Gent Badges   Bradford City City Gent Badges  
                 
  1966-74. Refer series one release.
  ‘BC’ logo from 1974 – 81. Refer series 19 release.   Dec-1981 to May-82. Refer series 19 release.
  1982/83. Refer series ten release.  
                 
  Bradford City City Gent Badges   Bradford City City Gent Badges   Bradford City AFC Club Crests      
                 
  1983-85. Refer series 19 release.   1985-91. Note different proportions and boar’s head design compared to original 1966 version. Refer series 19 release.
  Current club crest from 1991. Enamel badge readily available. Note bantam more like a hen than a cockrel compared to prior bantam designs!  
 
                 
 
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