Book Review: The Beautiful Badge – The Stories Behind the Football Club Badge by Martyn Routledge & Elspeth Wills

The Club badge. The symbol of your team. Worn on the shirt and in the modern area kissed by players as a show of their love and loyalty to the Club. And indeed, like the game of football itself something that has gone through a great transition.

This A4 sized beautifully illustrated ‘coffee table’ book looks at the history of the badge from its beginnings in the 1860s to their transformation as brand symbols for the biggest clubs around the globe today.

Over twelve chapters the authors demonstrate their extensive research as they look at topics such as the early history of badges, those influenced by coats of arms, badge design, iconic badges and even a reader’s quiz.

Those thinking that this book is just about the ‘big’ clubs, fear not, as the pages are littered with badges of professional and semi-professional clubs from across the UK and even a few fictional examples.

It is a book that will have a universal appeal to football fans and those interested in the games links with social history and is both a good read as well as visually stimulating. There is however one small gripe, which is that the font size of the silver-grey text on the illustrations is hard to discern in certain lights – slightly ironic in a book given over to the idea of design. However, this doesn’t detract to what is a welcome addition to the football book shelves.

Note: This review was based on the first run of the book. A second run has now been produced which has addressed the issue around the text on the illustrations.


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Posted November 18, 2018 by Editor in category "Reviews


  1. Pingback: Book Review – The Beautiful History: Football Club Badges Tell the Story of Britain by Martyn Routledge & Elspeth Wills. Illustrations by Adam Forster – football book reviews

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