Arsenal football club’s rich heritage is proudly displayed in the iconiccrest – there’s no mistaking that these are the Gunners.
Dial Square, the club that became Arsenal, was founded in 1886 byworkers at the Royal Arsenal armaments factory in Woolwich, insoutheast London.
Its first crest was heavily based on the localcouncil’s coat of arms: reflecting the area’s strong military connections,it featured three cannons.In the following years the club changed its name to Royal Arsenal andthen Woolwich Arsenal.
In 1913, it made a surprise move north, acrossthe city, to Highbury in Islington.
That could have been the momentfor a complete rebrand, but in fact it also took the name Arsenal, alongwith the Gunners nickname acquired due to the association with thefactory, and the cannon symbol, which continued to appear on badgesthroughout the 1920s.
Legendary moderniser Herbert Chapman took over as Arsenalmanager in 1925. He led the team to two league titles and one FA Cuptriumph, as well as laying the foundations for the golden era of the1930s, when the club won the league five times. He was alsoinstrumental in developing the distinctive Art Deco design – more alogo than a crest – which was based on the club’s initials, and gracedthe stadium in Highbury for several decades. Apart from one cuptriumph and two league titles, the post-war period did not bring thesame successes until the Double-winning year of 1971.
The club’sbadge, now in colour and with the addition of the Islington coat ofarms, still featured a prominent cannon to reinforce the Gunners moniker.Of course, there have been other nicknames: in the 1970s and 1980s‘Boring, Boring Arsenal’ alluded to the team’s dull but efficient style ofplay; and in the early 2000s manager Arsène Wenger’s unbeaten teamwere known as ‘the Invincibles’. However, ‘the Gunners’ is a name thathas stuck – reiterated by the cannon that endure on the crest.
ARSENAL FOOTBALL FIREPOWER
CLUB: Arsenal FC
NICKNAME: The Gunners
STADIUM: Emirates Stadium, London (59,867 capacity)
HISTORIC PLAYERS: David O’Leary, Ian Wright, Dennis Bergkamp, Tony
Adams, Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry
1888–1913. Two years after the birth of the club, the team’s first emblem was created. Under
the name Royal Arsenal, the club’s emblem was inspired by Woolwich’s town crest. The three
columns are cannons, each with the head of a lion. Cannons are closely linked to Woolwich
because the area has a strong military history. This emblem was taken up by the club when it
moved to North London.
1922–1925 and 1925–1949. After the moves and the change of name in 1913, it took almost 10
years before a new official club emblem was produced. The one on the left is taken from the
1922/23 season’s first match programme. It was updated three years later, when the gun was
turned to the left. Both emblems carry the club’s nickname.
1949–2002. The end of the ’40s saw the club’s first emblem in colour. Red and white reflected
the team’s kit, which in turn had been inspired by Nottingham Forest because two of the club’s
founders had played there. In the new emblem, Arsenal was written in the Gothic style and
the town crest of Islington, the local borough, was introduced. Furthermore it included the
Latin motto Victoria Concordia Crescit, which means ‘Victory comes from harmony’ and was
suggested by Harry Homer, the editor of the match programme. The crest was modernised
over the years.
2002–present. Arsenal ran up against problems when they wanted to patent their earlier
crest and so they created a completely new emblem. The cannon was retained but this time
turned back to the right. An important element of the new crest was to look forward to the
club’s future home, the Emirates Stadium (2006), which had already been planned when the
new emblem was introduced.
Arsenal’s all-time top goalscorer Thierry Henry pats the Gunners crest after scoring the
winning goal in an FA Cup match against Leeds United in 2012. The 2011/12 season was
marked by a 125th-anniversary crest design which used laurel elements from the original