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Could a change of badge be a positive move for Sunderland?

In the light of a range of new retro clothing being launched, our club crest is currently a hot topic. We asked our writers for their thoughts on how it might look next season

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Derek Carter says…

Like Malc, I’m of a certain age, and last week was the sixty first anniversary of my first Sunderland match, although I hasten to add I was little more than a foetus at that stage!

This discussion surrounding our badge has been rumbling on for a long time and I’ll admit that despite the fact I’ve been watching the Lads since what feels like the Jurassic period, it’s not a subject that keeps me awake at night.

That’s not to say that I’d complain if it was changed, because the history of the club is reflected much more in the ship crest and I agree that it would offer a huge merchandising opportunity, providing we could actually buy it!

It would be a massive undertaking but certainly not impossible, especially as we already have the template and wouldn’t have to pay someone £500,000 to produce a design that resembled something done by a four year old or a chimpanzee doing potato art.

However, the big problem is which one should we choose? The original white ship on a blue background which we had for fourteen years from 1977, or the second edition with white on black? There’ll be strong support for both.

Personally, I’d go blue because it’s the original, the sea is actually that colour (supposedly) and the less black and white on show, the better.

So despite saying it doesn’t keep me awake at night, if the club put it to an official vote, I’d tick the ‘yes’ box.

Soccer - Football League Division One - Sunderland Photocall Photo by Peter Robinson/EMPICS via Getty Images

Malc Dugdale says…

As someone who remembers games at Roker Park very fondly, I think it’s a total no brainer to bring back the iconic emblem that was associated with our football club during that time, and throughout my youth.

I may be biased based on my age and my personal recollection of my formative years as a fan, but I don’t think many supporters of other ages will massively disagree. It’s way more representative of us than the present crest and it always will be.

The ship badge resonates with the proud and hard working foundations the city was built on. The newer design, on the other hand, looks pretty swish and I’ve never really disliked it, but it doesn’t really ‘mean anything’ for most Sunderland fans.

In addition, it’s a crest that’s not entirely dissimilar to the one used by our friends up the road.

I’ve no idea why it was changed and I don’t really recall how it happened, although I’ve lived and worked overseas for large parts of my career, and a lot of these changes pass you by when that’s the case.

‘Get it back to the boat’, is my view.

It’ll really kickstart merchandise sales, which I’ve written several times about as needing all the help they can get.

We’ve never had a better football identity than we have right now, and resuming the association with the ship badge would be the icing on the cake.

Tom Albrighton…

As I’ve written in the past, I’d love to see the old ship crest make a long overdue return.

Aside from all the commercial reasons and opportunities a change would provide, a return to something so iconic would be an instant hit with a majority of the fan base.

It’s arguably the club’s most famous badge and one that’s not only synonymous with the club, but also the city of Sunderland. As a supporter, you endeavour to not only see your team succeed, but to also embody the city itself and there can be no better reminder than the much-adored ship.

A city whose story is forged in the steel and hard labour of the shipyards that were once the envy of the world would dovetail beautifully with the club embracing modernity and class, and riding on the undercurrent of the Sunderland’s rich and varied past.

No badge seems to embody the club, the fans and the city itself more powerfully than that particular design.

Bring her back. You know it’s the right thing to do.


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