Please, Matthew. Can we have our castle back?

4 Aug

Season 2016/17 is almost upon us with Brentford preparing to travel to Huddersfield Town on Saturday. Yet before a ball has even been kicked in anger, I’ve already seen thoughts turning towards 2017/18. Specifically, in regards to the playing kit.

I’m not going to dwell further on this year’s offering, suffice to say that I love it (although, equally, recognise that it is not everybody’s cup of tea). We’ve discussed this one to the nth degree already.

However, what is of ongoing interest was Kitman Bob’s recent revelation that he is already getting close to looking at the design specs for next season. That’s 2017/18, just to be clear. Likewise, Mark Devlin’s insight into the design process given at Monday’s fan forum where he explained how the final selection involves oversight from a number of people at the club, all the way up to Matthew Benham.

Then, last night, supporter Stephen O’Brien offered his thoughts on this subject via Twitter.

Whilst I agree he has picked two absolute stunners (including my all time favourite in the home category), making a 100% clone of a previous effort perhaps isn’t the best way forward. If nothing else, Puma emulated / paid tribute to / ripped off (delete as applicable) both of the shirts  Stephen admires so much back in 2010-11. Are we ready for yet another identikit version so soon?

However, where I do agree 110% with Stephen is in his comments about the club badge. Perhaps it is a generational thing but for me nothing quite says Brentford like….the Castle.

Forget the debate about our current red to white ratio. If there is one thing that makes me instantly identify with our club then it is, with all due respect to both the Funky Bee and Buzzette, that badge.

Matthew, Bob, Mark and the other co-directors of shirt selection – please can we bring it back next season?

The Castle Badge

The Castle badge appeared (on and off) from 1976-1994)

Much as I’d love to be on your kit committee, I realise that’s never going to happen . However, at the very least why not throw a ‘badge’ vote open to the supporters ?

It wouldn’t be unheard of in footballing circles and given how much we look to engage with our fanbase, why not allow us to help make a decision about the club’s identity ?

If nothing else, our current effort is now entering a twenty-second season of use after first appearing in the 1994/95 campaign. That badge was also chosen by a supporter  – Andrew Henning designing it  in exchange for two season tickets. Don’t listen to the claims to ownership from TV ‘astrologer’ Russell Grant whom, it later transpired, simply offered guidance on the inclusion of the Middlesex coat of arms found in the bottom left corner.

Yet even after all this time, I still can’t warm to it. It just seems too busy and like our former ‘Spitfire’ font, maybe even just a little dated.  With a stylised beehive, the coat of arms,  a scroll, four quarters and several text blocks within the design there’s just too much going on. It now feels workmanlike and efficient rather than having the emotional significance of the Castle.


The current Brentford badge

We almost changed over on the occasion of our 125th anniversary. A garish celebratory graphic based on our first ever badge was revealed, along with talk of having a simpler variant on the shirts. Instead, the idea was quietly parked and has never been mentioned since.

Much as I love the Castle, the thought of going all the way back to our origins was an equally wonderful one and it was a real shame this never put in an appearance in one form or another. But the point is mentioned as it shows the club have considered change.

With Brentford’s sartorial fate for next season already approaching discussion, why not take a chance to roll back the years?

Please Matthew. Can we have our castle back?

Nick Bruzon

13 Responses to “Please, Matthew. Can we have our castle back?”

  1. RebelBee August 4, 2016 at 8:51 am #

    Deffo time to bring back the iconic castle, 100% agree and would love to see this proposal gain momentum. Not only on the shirts, but also imagine a huge BFC castle displayed proudly on the main stand at LR – wouldn’t that be something? Perhaps the current badge on another stand, the original crest on another side and the 3 Middlesex sea axes on the 4th side. As for the club shop (sorry superstore), they really are missing a trick by not having a good selection of castle “merch” in there – not even an enamel badge, hard to believe really.

  2. Greendale Watermouse August 4, 2016 at 8:58 am #

    Bring back the Castle! Simple, beautiful design. Everything Brentford.

  3. Charlie the bee August 4, 2016 at 10:05 am #

    No thanks the castle is not my favourite
    Maybe we should look at a special crest for our new home that reflects where we come from & where we are now

  4. Barry. Mell August 4, 2016 at 11:01 am #

    Sorry Nick, I don’t agree. I really like the current badge and am not a fan of the castle.

  5. Paul Fletcher August 4, 2016 at 11:27 am #

    Sorry but I disagree 100%. For me the current badge is far better .The Middlesex scimitars the Beehive & the general layout is far more interesting.The “iconic” castle as some refer to it is too simplistic .There needs to be a referendum !😄

    • nickbruzon August 4, 2016 at 12:59 pm #

      Cheers Paul / all. Been very interesting feedback across all forms of social media today. Can’t imagine anybody of influence reads but any referendum would seem unlikely to trigger a badgexit…

  6. Jax August 4, 2016 at 2:35 pm #

    Not to be picky but referring to the current badge as “dated” whilst hoping to go back to one of the most basic and dated designs imaginable seems baffling to me.

    Perhaps it is a generational thing in part as well though as bar my first couple of seasons the current badge is the badge I’ve grown up with.

    Not a fan of the castle at all and look at many of the comments mocking Fulham when they changed their badge. We’d be ripe for the same treatment if we brought the castle back.

  7. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) August 4, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

    Sorry Nick, I have said with the minority. I never liked the castle badge. Even as a kid, I found it beyond bland.

    But I do feel the current badge and its font very much out of date as well. My favourite design is one of a bee, which im not even sure was a real badge but have on a very very old mug!

  8. RebelBee August 4, 2016 at 3:56 pm #

    Can’t believe anyone would take the current badge over the castle, the little bees flying out of a hive part – all a bit non league for me. We wouldn’t actually be changing our badge either, simply returning to a previous design. The castle is simple, clean and stunning imo, time to bring it back.

    Love the Middlesex Sea Axes too.

  9. @hongkongbee August 5, 2016 at 1:10 am #

    I’d take the current badge over the castle, I’m fond in a nostalgic way of the castle badge, and still think there is a place for it on merch, but it screams 1970s and the current badge edges it. I wouldn’t be opposed to a new badge maybe combining elements of the two as I think the current one does look like it’s been made using Microsoft Clip art.

  10. Richard August 5, 2016 at 2:41 am #

    I tend towards the current badge but either one would look good with ‘ Championship Champions 2016/2017 embossed under it

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