The rampant Lion of Scotland, almost identical to the one used by Glasgow Rangers, has always been the defining, central piece of Aston Villa’s crest. In a rather nice touch by the club, the reason for the use of the lion is to reflect the influence that several Scotsmen had in founding Villa.
Most notably, one of those men being George Ramsay.
Ramsay actually came to join Aston Villa almost by accident. Walking past a Villa players' practice match in 1876 he was asked to make up the numbers. He obviously did something right and soon found himself as captain of the club.
He then went on to discover Villa’s first ground, Wellington Road, meaning the team could charge admission fees for the first time. And if that wasn’t enough, he was also responsible for the recruitment of Villa legend Archie Hunter. So it only seems fitting that club folklore has it that Ramsay was the first man to kick a ball at the notorious Villa Park.
As well as the lion, a white star was added to the design in 2007 to signify their famous European Cup triumph. In 2016 the badge underwent its most recent transformation. The word ‘Prepared’ made way for an enlarged, dynamic, and ferocious version of the heraldic lion – one to symbolise the club’s strength. Let’s hope it’s a catalyst to propel Villa back to where they deserve to be.
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Written by Dave Farthing