Stranraer Football Club was established in 1870, making it the third-oldest club in Scotland, after Queen’s Park, (1867) and Kilmarnock (1869).
Due to Stranraer’s relatively remote location, fixtures in these early years were often played away from the town, in other parts of Wigtownshire, in Kirkcudbrightshire and even as far north as Ayrshire. Finally, in 1907, a permanent home was found in the town and Stair Park came to be. By the 1955/56 season, Stranraer began competing as full members of the Scottish Football League.
Stranraer first used a badge on their kit in the mid-1950s. This badge consisted of a red shield enclosing the club’s initials in white. This badge was used until 1961, when it was replaced with another red and white shield, this time, with the club’s initials above a ship at sea, the ship taken from the town’s coat of arms. Some variation of this badge remained until 1988, when a shield featuring only a ship at sea was enclosed by a ring with the club’s name and year of founding. The current badge in an updated version of this 1988 badge.
In redesigning Stranraer’s badge, I considered the two other clubs which feature a ship in full sail on their current badge: Greenock Morton (1874) and Clyde (1877). The ship on Clyde’s badge, from what I can tell, came into being in the mid-1930s. Morton’s badge did not feature a ship until 1978. Given the length of time that Clyde’s badge has been in use and given that I did not want my Stranraer badge redesign to be too similar to either the current badge or the Stranraer coat of arms, I decided to include a ship in my redesign of Clyde’s badge alone.
For Stranraer, I settled on a ship’s wheel, as it is distinct among all football badges, it is a timeless symbol (which ties both to the club’s age and to Stranraer’s significance as a port town) and it lends itself to a round badge. I have gone out on a limb so as to include the wheel’s handles beyond the bounds of the badge ring. A t-panelled football sits at the centre of the badge and I have added a second tone of blue to give the badge an extra bit of ‘pop’.
In redesigning the home kit, I first experimented with a wave pattern, but determined that, along with the ship’s wheel badge, this would be over the top. Instead, I have used the traditional Stranraer blue shirt with white accents, drawing particular inspiration from the very tasteful 2008/09 home shirt. The away shirt is bright yellow, with a mustard harlequin pattern, inspired in part by the 1996/97 home kit.
As ever, I am indebted to Dave at Historical Football Kits for some of the historical information used above.