A brief history of Port Vale club crests

A brief history of Port Vale club crests

Port Vale have had a variety of club crests over the many years of the club’s existence. OVF examines the history behind the club’s many badge designs.

Early days
In the early days of the club’s existence the club took on the Burslem coat of arms (right) as their emblem and this shield was adopted by the club from around 1878 onwards.

In common with many football clubs at the time, the team still wore kit unadorned with badges so this design was rarely used or seen.

We have to move seventy years forward to the 1950’s before we see the emergence of another Port Vale crest. At that time, Vale had largely stuck with white shirts and black shorts and the first crest (which was used on the team shirts) complimented the outfit perfectly. It was first used in 1952 and consisted of a Staffordshire knot with the letters “PVFC” within it (right).
In 1956, the Valiants adopted what many fans consider the club’s classic crest when they adapted the Burslem coat of arms (see pull-out box for more details) into the club colours of black and white.
What’s in a crest?
old-badgeThe 1952 badge is a derivation of the Burslem coat of arms and takes on symbols from other Stoke-on-Trent crests. The scythe comes from the Tunstall arms, the “fretted cross” from Audley while the two pots symbolise Josiah Wedgwood’s towns (Burslem and Etruria). It was “re-adopted” by the club in the new millennium when it was used on the back of several kit designs although the current badge remained the club’s official design.

There was also a red and gold version of this crest (red and gold being the original colours of the Burslem coat of arms the design was based on) which was used on the players’ blazers.

The crest from Vale player Stan Turner’s blazer is shown on the right.

Club crests went out of fashion in the mid to late 1960’s, so in 1974 a new Port Vale logo was used (right).  Vale at the time were wearing Admiral kit and their white shirts and the style of the “PVFC” design owed a lot to Leeds United’s 1970’s “LUFC” logo. It was used on and off until 1981 by the the club. The image on the right is a 1974 photograph of Mick Cullerton in a Vale kit featuring that design.
1978-badgeIn 1978, an unusual badge which reflected the club’s “Valiants” nickname was used (right). It consisted of a knight on a horse with the text “Port Vale” at the top. It only lasted a few years before a new crest was in operation for the 1980’s.
1982-badgeThe new design was the winning design from a competition for schoolchildren (right) and featured the letters “PVFC” a Staffordshire knot and a bottle oven kiln. It debuted during the successful 1982/1983 promotion season. You can read a little more about how this badge was designed here
In 1986 the current badge was adopted. Once again, we’ve examined this design in more detail through the pull-out box below.
What’s in a crest?
Port_Vale_logo.svgThe current badge continues the club’s association with Wedgwood by using the Wedgwood blue colour.It maintains the now familiar Stafforshire knot and bottle ovens and uses “1876” as the club’s formation date (the first time this is referenced on a Port Vale crest).


In 2013, the club’s new owners proposed a badge change for the 2014-2015 and asked fans to decide if the club should adopt a new badge or not. The proposed badge was largely based on the 1950’s design but with the addition of the slogan “For all who have gone before” in order to pay tribute to former players, fans and staff.

Basic CMYK

After feedback from fans, the final design, pictured left, which was to be used during the 2013-2014 season dropped the slogan and added a Staffordshire knot to the top of the crest and the club’s foundation year (1876) to the bottom.

OVF would like to acknowledge the information on the following websites which helped us to write this article:

1. http://www.historicalkits.co.uk/Port_Vale/Port_Vale.htm

2. http://thebeautifulhistory.wordpress.com/clubs/port-vale/

More OVF features on Port Vale badges and crests:


  1. Anyone else think that the current badge design is the worst?

  2. The Blue on the current crest is Wedgwood blue it is a tribute to Josiah Wedgwood who was born in Burslem and not only a favourite Pottery manufacturer, but he was a slave trade abolitionist. I was led to believe that as the club wear Black & White it was a symbol to unite.

    I may be wrong but if I am its a good story.

  3. Author

    That’s an interesting theory about the black and white kits, Mark. Josiah Wedgwood is referenced in other Vale badges but I can’t match up that shade of blue with the “Wedgwood blue” colour (perhaps the club simply failed to make it the same shade?). Thanks for the comments – Rob (editor)

  4. the current badge i feel is horrendous . it is by far the worst badge in our history imo. a reversal to one of the old club crests or one derived from one of those would be much better. black white and yellow have been the club colours for years and this association with a blue kit should be regarded as a third kit colour only.

  5. How can anyone think our current badge is the worst? That bliddy Knight was totally bizarre and the one designed by the schoolkid was worse as well.

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