Dumbarton Football Club was established in 1872, making it the fourth oldest association football club in Scotland, after Queen’s Park (1867), Kilmarnock (1869) and Stranraer (1870).
During these early years, Dumbarton—or ‘the Sons’, as they are known—were one of the most competitive sides in Scottish football. They were regular features in the Scottish Cup (winning in 1882/83 and coming runners-up on five occasions between 1880 and 1897). Dumbarton also have the distinction of being crowned Scottish champions for the first two seasons of the Scottish Football League (1890/91 and 1891/92) and of being one of only two clubs (the other being Rangers) to win each of the four tiers in Scottish professional football.
Over the years, I have found it difficult to pursue a redesign of the Dumbarton badge. Put simply, the current badge is excellent. To even consider redesigning it is a daunting task. Still, I thought of what was possibly missing from the current badge. Certainly, the year the club was founded is of note. Being that the elephant in the current badge represents Dumbarton Rock (mounted by Dumbarton Castle) and given the fact that Dumbarton’s home ground is at the foot of the rock, I also saw an opportunity to incorporate a football at the elephant’s foot.
Ultimately, I decided that I wanted to retain an elephant image. With that exception, I departed fully from Dumbarton’s handsome badge. 1 FC Köln and Derby County FC, with their iconic animal badges, came to mind. But I wanted something yet more simple. Very intentionally, the elephant in my redesign is unbridled and more lively than the one in the current Dumbarton badge—and it’s ever-so-slightly more anatomically correct, while maintaining a light, minimalistic feel.
The home shirt I designed has a 1970s feel, with alternating vertical bars of two shades of gold. The away strip takes its colours and hoops from the 1881 to 1885 home strip used by Dumbarton Athletic FC (which merged with Dumbarton in 1889).
As ever, I am indebted to Dave at Historical Football Kits for some of the historical information used above.