The invention of the dropstamp machine around 1840 made mass production of enamel badges possible. They first appeared in quantity towards the end of the 19th century.
Manufacturing methods have hardly changed, enamel badges are still fired and polished by hand for the best finish.
Every sphere of human activity has had an enamel badge to celebrate it, and Glasgow Celtic is no different. I don’t know when the first Celtic supporters started wearing enamel badges on match day? Do You?
It certainly wasn’t until the start of the 70s that the craze really took hold and they appeared on a regular basis at home games, sold alongside the cloth patches.
The three badges below are from the late sixties and are quite rare in that the round badge is a newspaper issue to celebrate the 1967 European Cup win, I am led to believe that you required to collect tokens from the Sunday Express. The rectangular badges (are almost identical) are foreign issued badges from the USSR when Celtic played Dynamo Kiev in the European cup 67/68* ( *there are at least 2 different colours of this badge. A gold background and a light green background).
As many as 80% of enamel badges do not have any marks on the back. There are a variety of plausible reasons for this, but it seems odd that every manufacturer did not take up free advertising.
The firms of Coffer and R.E.V. Gomm are the most well known in football badge making but I have been reliably informed that they sub-contracted the individual parts out, and didn't make badges themselves.
The badge on the left is made by Coffer of Northampton and celebrates the 1979 League Championship win, it is a very large badge at 45cm x 32cm.
The badge on the right is produced by R.E.V. Gomm and is their trademark badge “the football Gomm.”
What’s the Value of a badge?
Badges in the heyday of the 70s were 10-20p a badge and were much bigger, better and more kitsch than the modern ones of today. Match badges sold from vendors outside the ground will cost £2 with supermarket offers of three for a £5.
If you want to add to your collection of old or new badges then try the Internet, www.ebay.com will help you spend all your hard-earned beer tokens.
The badge below was sold recently for £46; the German based Continental Celtic Supporters Club produced the badge during the mid to late eighties. Designed, I think, by Joachim Hacker and Heiko Wolf.
This is an extremely rare badge and is roughly the same size as a 1p coin, oh I wish I had a drawer full of them!
Supporter Club Badges CSCs
They have become very popular over recent years a way of raising money for local supporter clubs. The list is ever expanding and must now run into the low hundreds.
Even a small club can have their own badge, as most good manufacturers will do a run of 50 for £2 a badge. Below we have badge from The Jock Stein Melbourne CSC Australia and the Vancouver CSC Canada.
Official Merchandise Badges
I don’t wish to be rude but I have written to the commercial director twice recently and have not even had the courtesy of a reply. The shop has sold some badges over the years and charged over the odds for them also, which is a shame as they are easily in the position to acquire badges by the thousand from a producer for pennies and sell them for a couple of quid, Liverpool manage to do it!
Anyway they have sold a variety of badges which have not all been enamel, most acrylic badges are cheaper to produce than enamel badges, more common now and much inferior, so they buy them even cheaper and sell them for more!
The badges below were sold in the Celtic superstore and are made from rubber! No metal in sight and sold for £2.50 a badge.
My own collection at present stands at over 500 match vendor badges and 120 CSC badges. I am always on the lookout for more badges especially CSCs for swaps or to buy, if you are interested and have just pulled out some from an old tin in the cupboard drop me a line - Click here to email William Mulholland - article author or through this website.
If this article has rekindled your memories from years gone by and you have any information on badges of any form please get in touch and we can “chew the fat” just think there must be thousands of badges lying about in drawers etc, so dig them out!
Finally below are two of my favourites, the one on the left is Jacki Dziekanowski who scored 4 goals in a euro tie and still went out of the competition, and on the right we have another USSR badge from 86-87 with Dynamo Moscow having changed their team crest badge from earlier years.