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Why Everton Football Club should bring back the Liver Bird

It's one of the most recognisable city symbols in the world! Yet for some reason, only one of our great football clubs choose to acknowledge it, why? Have they decided to concede it for some reason? If so, to whom? It doesn't belong to any one person, club, organisation, society or institution. It's been a symbol of this great city of ours for over 800 years and it will continue to be so for a further 800 more!

Why Everton Football Club should bring back the Liver Bird

The status quo wasn't always the case though. Roll back the clock some 137 years. Everton Football Club were established in 1878, the oldest club in Liverpool. It's quite vague as to when Everton first worn the Liver Bird on their kit, but it can be dated back to at least 1886 when the team worn a white jersey with a dark crest, which clearly shows a white Liver Bird on it.
Only two years later, Everton Football Club turned professional and became one of only twelve founder members of the "First Football League in the World". This at a time when Everton were playing at Anfield.
The first two seasons of the newly formed Football League saw Preston North End crowned English Champions two seasons running, before Everton won the league at their third attempt, becoming only the second team to do so. To celebrate the successful campaign, the club commissioned the incorporation of the Liver Bird on their league championship winners' medals. Everton were the only professional club in the city at the time. One of the two iconic Liver Birds perched on the Liver Building Following the English League title win, a rent dispute with the Anfield owner led to Everton Football Club relocating across Stanley Park to the Mere Green fields off Goodison Road. As I'm sure you're only too aware, this action saw the emergence of another great club in the city and the birth of a rivalry that would last until this day.
Liverpool Football Club first flirted with the Liver Bird after winning the English League title for the first time, when they commissioned the city's Coat of Arms on their 1901 winning medals.
As a result of this, this became the first time a Liver Bird appeared on anything related to Liverpool Football Club. However, it wasn't until another 52 years, the 1953-54 season to be precise, that the Liver Bird first appeared on a Liverpool Football Club kit.
Everton Football Club continued to use the Liver Bird between at least 1886 to 1938. When it was commissioned on medals in 1891, 1910 and 1938. There's also the Liverpool Senior Cup and Liverpool Challenge Cup medals Everton have won, which also have the Liver Bird on them. Everton have won 45 Liverpool Senior Cups between 1884 and 2007.

Our City Symbol predates both football clubs by over 671 Years!

The story of the Liver Bird started way back in 1207, when King John II issued Liverpool with a charter recognising the small fishing village as an independent port. He sealed the famous document with what would later be known as the Liver Bird. The symbolic bird was born.
The mere chick grew into a mythical legend over the next half a millenia, spreading its offspring all around the city and beyond. Two of the most famous of which landed on top of the Liver Building in 1911. The iconic birds have found a place in the hearts of every scouser since, becoming a symbol of the city and indeed, home!

The Liver Bird Timeline

Year Institution Event
1207 The City of Liverpool Flag City of Liverpool King John II granted Liverpool its Royal Charter as a port and signed a seal emblazoned with what would later be known as the Liver Bird
1611 The City of Liverpool Flag City of Liverpool The Mayor of Liverpool orders the production of silver tableware with the Liver Bird featured on them
1668 The City of Liverpool Flag City of Liverpool The Earl of Derby gave a silver gilt mace to the town engraved with the first recorded reference to the Liver Bird
1797 The City of Liverpool Flag City of Liverpool The College of Arms granted official arms to Liverpool depicting the Liver Bird in pride of place
1823 The City of Liverpool Flag City of Liverpool Three Liver Birds are used on the "Liverpool Mechanics' School of Arts" crest which would later become "Liverpool John Moores University"
1874 The City of Liverpool Flag City of Liverpool The Liver Bird is used on the "Liverpool School of Medicine" crest
1878 The City of Liverpool Flag City of Liverpool The Mersey Chambers building is built with a white Liver Bird perched on top of it which is now referred to as the "Third Liver Bird"
1878 The Everton FC flag for Liverpool Everton FC Everton Football Club is formed
1884 The City of Liverpool Flag City of Liverpool Three Liver Birds are used on the Coat of Arms for the "University of Liverpool"
1885 The City of Liverpool Flag City of Liverpool The Liver Bird is used on the "Edge Hill University" crest
1886 The Everton FC flag for Liverpool Everton FC Everton Football Club use the Liver Bird on their kit
1891 The Everton FC flag for Liverpool Everton FC Everton Football Club commission the incorporation of the Liver bird on the league championship winners' medals
1892 The Liverpool FC flag for Liverpool Liverpool FC Liverpool Football Club is formed
1901 The Liverpool FC flag for Liverpool Liverpool FC Liverpool Football Club uses the city's "Coat of Arms" on their League Championship Winners medals which is the first time a Liver Bird appears on anything related to the club
1910 The Everton FC flag for Liverpool Everton FC Everton Football Club issue medals with the Liver Bird incorporated on them
1911 The City of Liverpool Flag City of Liverpool The two iconic 18ft tall Liver Birds with a wing span of 24ft are perched 300ft high on top of the new Liver Building at the Pier Head
1915 The Everton FC flag for Liverpool Everton FC Everton Football Club commission the incorporation of the Liver bird on the league championship winners' medals
1938 The Everton FC flag for Liverpool Everton FC Everton Football Club use the Liver Bird on their Central League Winners medals
1938 The Everton FC flag for Liverpool Everton FC Everton Football Club adopt the use of Prince Rupert's Tower for the first time
1953 The Liverpool FC flag for Liverpool Liverpool FC Liverpool Football Club use the Liver Bird on their shirts for the first time
1961 The Liverpool FC flag for Liverpool Liverpool FC Liverpool Football Club are told by Liverpool City Council that they can't use the city's "Coat of Arms" as its club crest
1969 The City of Liverpool Flag City of Liverpool A popular TV show based in Liverpool is first aired called the "Liver Birds"
1970 The Everton FC flag for Liverpool Everton FC Everton Football Club use Prince Rupert's Tower on their shirts for the first time
2007 The City of Liverpool Flag City of Liverpool The Liver Bird is used as the main logo for the city's 800th birthday celebrations
2008 The Liverpool FC flag for Liverpool Liverpool FC The owners of Liverpool Football Club attempt to register the Liver Bird as a trademark
2008 The Everton FC flag for Liverpool Everton FC Everton Football Club's former spokesman Ian Ross angers Evertonians with his opinion that the city symbol belongs to Liverpool Football Club
2009 The Everton FC flag for Liverpool Everton FC Lifelong Evertonian Keith Wilson re-ignites a long standing campaign to bring the Liver Bird back to Everton Football Club
2015 The City of Liverpool Flag City of Liverpool A new 8 foot bronze Liver Bird statue entitled "The Spirit of Liverpool" is unveiled on the Pier Head
2015 The City of Liverpool Flag City of Liverpool New plans are proposed for a massive Liver Bird that would rival the 'Statue of Liberty' and the 'Eiffel Tower'

There are several legends relating to the iconic birds on the Liver Building. The one looking out to sea is believed to be the female of the two, whilst the one looking towards the city is said to be the male. The story goes that the female bird is looking out to sea for the safe return of our seafaring sailors, while the male bird is looking inland to keep an eye on the pubs.

This isn't a Tower Versus the Liver Bird debate!

Nobody wants to get rid of Prince Rupert's Tower

Nobody is suggesting that the mighty Blues ditch Prince Rupert's Tower, this isn't an issue here. Myself and "The Bird is Blue" campaign is simply suggesting that Everton Football Club should re-incorporate the Liver Bird, not as a replacement, but simply as an acknowledgement that they are a club from the City of Liverpool.

How Everton Football Club should bring back the Liver Bird on the shirt

Circumstances have left Everton Football Club at a disadvantage

Circumstances following the creation of both clubs has left the blue side of the city at a noticable disadvantage. When Everton Football Club were formed in 1878, Liverpool was just a town, an extremely large industrious one at that. In 1880, Liverpool Town became a City. When the Football League began, Everton FC, as the only professional club in the region, recieved the overwhelming support of the city.
When John Houlding founded the second Anfield team in 1892, after the FA refused his efforts to name his new team Everton Athletic FC, he decided to take the name of the city instead.
This has had a negative impact on Everton Football Club ever since. Whenever the city has influenced the world stage, most notably during the 'Mersey Beat' era, waves of new supporters have flocked to Liverpool Football Club to identify themselves with this great city of ours. The Blues would have undoubtably received additional support during those years too, but nobody is under the illusion that they garnered more support than Liverpool Football Club did. Naming the club the same as the city is probably Houlding's biggest legacy for the Reds. How many times have you heard this of a supporter from the other side of the pond... "Well I love the Beatles, so I support Liverpool Football Club man".
Of course we are not just talking about that one moment in time, Liverpool as a city is a cool city! It's sound as we say. Plenty of people have chosen to identify themselves with our city and we welcome them all! But it has to be said that the Blue half is and always has been at a disadvantage on this point.

Everton Football Club were the First team to wear the Liver Bird on their Shirts

Everton were the first team to wear the Liver Bird on their football kit So the city name has escaped the clutches of the Blues, what about the city symbol, what happened there then? As I've mentioned before, the Liver Bird is one of the most recognisable city symbols anywhere in the world! Why would Everton Football Club relinquish themselves from it? What a huge commercial faux pas for the club to find themselves in this situation, Everton should be all over it like a sticky toffee on a hot day. It was after all synonymous with the Blues up until the 1950's. Times have changed our perceptions, it'll change them again!
Thanks to the dedicated support of ardent Bluenoses that won't let this issue die, Everton Football Club could re-incorporate the city symbol yet again. Like a pheonix rising from the blue flames, the Liver Bird would be more than welcomed by the fans. No longer would they have to walk past the hundreds of thousands of Liver Bird symbols and feel an unwelcomed sense of disassociation towards it.
The entire city could once again get behind the world famous symbol. Future proposed projects like the creation of a 'Statue of Liberty' style Liver Bird would eventually get the overwhelming support it deserves.

The Liver Bird is a City Symbol and can be found all over Liverpool

Spot the Liver Bird!

The Liver Bird can be found in and around Liverpool The Liver Bird can be found all over the Liverpool City Region and beyond, on Coat of Arms, Lamp Posts, Public Bins, Wheely Bins, Football Crests, in Souvenier Shops and of course on Buildings. It is a City Symbol and although each and every one of them tend to be slightly unique, they're all instantly recognisable as being a Liver Bird.
From the top left on the image, there are twelve such examples of Liverpool's much loved mythical creature. There are of course hundreds of other examples sprawled out throughout the city region.
1) First up on the image are Liver Birds that can be found carved into the pews at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral.
2) Second is a golden Liver Bird on the green gates to the former Sailors' Home, which can now be found outside John Lewis's in Liverpool One.
3) Third is a black Liver Bird, which can be found on the Runcorn Railway Bridge as you cross the River Mersey.
4) Next up is what is now referred to as the city's "Third Liver Bird". This bright white Liver Bird sits proudly above the Mersey Chambers building opposite the Liver Building.
5) This stone Liver Bird can be found on Georges Dock Ventilation Tower, which is often called the Mersey Tunnel Building.
6) The sixth Liver Bird out of the twelve used to be nested above St.Johns Market from 1822 to 1964, before being restored and finding a new home at the Museum of Liverpool.
7) This beautifully crafted stone Liver Bird has flown the furthest afield of the selected twelve examples, it can be found on the Lloyd's Register Building in London.
8) This elegantly tiled Liver Bird can be found in Liverpool's Town Hall.
9) These familiar versions can be found on the wheely bins in hundreds of thousands of homes across the city.
10) If you're out and about around town, you won't be too far away from one of these trusty Liver Bird bins.
11) You can also find many Liver Birds emblazoned on Lamp Posts in and around town too.
12) The last Liver Bird of the twelve examples in the image, can be found on the Compton House building in Church Street.

Some of the institutions that use the Liver Bird


The Merseyside Coat of Arms has a black Liver Bird on it

Merseyside
Coat of Arms

The Liverpool City Coat of Arms has three black Liver Birds on it

Liverpool City
Coat of Arms

The Knowsley Coat of Arms has a golden Liver Bird on it

Knowsley
Coat of Arms

The Huyton and Roby Coat of Arms has a golden Liver Bird on it

Huyton & Roby
Coat of Arms

The old Liverpool City Council logo has a Liver Bird on it

Old Liverpool
City Council

The current Liverpool City Council logo has a Liver Bird on it

Liverpool
City Council

The University of Liverpool crest has three white Liver Birds on it

University
of Liverpool

The Liverpool John Moores University logo has a white Liver Bird on it

Liverpool John
Moores University

The Liverpool Hope University crest has two black Liver Birds on it

Liverpool Hope
University

The Edge Hill University logo has a red Liver Bird on it

Edge Hill
University

The Liverpool Medical School logo has a white Liver Bird on it

Liverpool
Medical School

The Liverpool Astronomical Society logo has a green Liver Bird on it

Liverpool
Astronomical Society

The Liverpool County FA logo has a blue Liver Bird on it

Liverpool
County FA

The Liverpool County Premier League logo has a golden Liver Bird on it

Liverpool County
Premier League

The Liverpool and District Sunday Football League logo has a black Liver Bird on it

Liverpool & District
Sunday Football League

The Royal Liverpool Golf Club crest has a white Liver Bird on it

Royal Liverpool
Golf Club

The Merseyside and Cheshire Amateur Boxing Association logo has a red Liver Bird on it

Merseyside & Cheshire
Amateur Boxing Association

The Mersey Amateur Boxing Club Birkenhead logo has a yellow Liver Bird on it

Mersey Amateur
Boxing Club Birkenhead

The Liverpool Echo newspaper logo has a white Liver Bird on it

Liverpool
Echo

The Liverpool's 800th Birthday logo had a black Liver Bird on it

Liverpool's 800th
Birthday Logo

The first Liverpool 2008 European Capital of Culture logo had an orange and red Liver Bird on it

Liverpool 2008 European
Capital of Culture

The Liverpool Bay TV logo has a red Liver Bird on it

Liverpool
Bay TV

The Merseyside Adventure Sailing Trust logo has a white Liver Bird on it

Merseyside Adventure
Sailing Trust

The Liverpool South Scouts District and County logo has a black Liver Bird on it

Liverpool South Scouts
District & County

The Liverpool Magic Circle logo has a yellow Liver Bird on it

Liverpool
Magic Circle

The Mersey Port Health Authority logo has a white Liver Bird on it

Mersey Port
Health Authority

The Liverpool Harmony logo has a white and gold Liver Bird on it

Liverpool
Harmony

Local Football Clubs that use the Liver Bird


The Liverpool Football Club crest has a red Liver Bird on it

Liverpool
Football Club

The AFC Liverpool crest has a red Liver Bird on it

AFC
Liverpool

The Ford Motors Football Club crest has a white Liver Bird on it

Ford Motors
Football Club

The South Liverpool Football Club crest has a red Liver Bird on it

South Liverpool
Football Club

The Liverpool Hibernia Football Club crest has a green Liver Bird on it

Liverpool Hibernia
Football Club

The Marshalls Football Club crest has a green Liver Bird on it

Marshalls
Football Club

The conclusion.

The city symbol belongs to Liverpool Football Club, as much as it belongs to Ford Motors Football Club, as much as it belongs to Everton Football Club. It isn't owned by any one club, organisation, society or institution. It is a city symbol to be loved and adourned by all!
It's about time Everton Football Club reclaimed their share of the Liver Bird. A symbol that truelly belongs to them too. Every time an Evertonian takes a walk around town and sees one of the thousands of Liver Birds adourned on the building walls, public utilities or the logos of the hundreds of businesses that have adopted it, they like Liverpool Football Club supporters, should be able to hold their head up high and feel a similar sense of pride towards the symbol. Likewise, when any of the thousands of tourists visit Liverpool, they should be associating its city symbol with both teams from the city and not just one. Both of our Premier League Football Clubs are from the City of Liverpool and both should be allowed the pleasure of wearing the Liver Bird with pride. Everton were the first football club to wear the Liver Bird on their shirt after all!