Forfar Athletic Football Club was established when the now-defunct Angus Athletic Football Club (1883-1885) second team of the broke away from their mother club in 1885. This young team, dubbed ‘the Loons’ (East Angus Scots for ‘young men’) proved their meddle early on, defeating the established Dundonian club, Our Boys, 1-0 in their first match on 16 May 1885.
Since joining the Scottish Football League for the 1921/22 season, the Loons have competed in the professional game in Scotland, but have yet to reach the top tier. Their best Scottish League Cup and Scottish Cup performances came in the 1977/78 and 1981/82 seasons, respectively. In both competitions, the Loons reached the semi-finals, where they lost to Rangers on both occasions. The first was a 5-2 loss in the 1977/78 League Cup, which Rangers would go on to win. In the 1981/82 Scottish Cup, Forfar Athletic forced a replay against Rangers after a 0-0 draw. Unfortunately for the Loons, the replay resulted in a 3-1 loss and the club would go away empty-handed once again.
The Loons’ 1960/61 shirt featured a badge consisting of the four heraldic symbols of the former royal burgh of Forfar within a shield: a Scots fir tree, a bull’s head, a stag’s head and a depiction of the former Castle of Forfar with three towers. A round badge featuring these symbols without a shield came into regular use in 1980. Some version of this badge has been used ever since, with the current badge, in use since 2007, placing the heraldic symbols within a shield once again.
For my redesign, I considered working with the current badge, but decided that, as these symbols are so far removed from the people of Forfar (the castle being destroyed in 1313), I would go another route. This began with a sketch of a highly-stylised, round monogram. Eventually, I placed the monogram within a ring. The outer ring contains two jute plant flowers, a reference to the contribution of the jute industry to the growth of the town in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The textile theme is recalled once again by the knot that borders the badge.
For the home strip, I went with the Loons’ classic light blue colour scheme. This particular rendering is inspired by the kits used between 1983 and 1986. The away strip is inspired by an odd move for the club. Between 1955 and 1967, Forfar Athletic departed from their traditional blues in favour of a green home strip. My design draws mostly from the kit used from August to December 1967, but with vertical stripes composed of a diamond pattern.
Thank you to Forfar Athletic supporter David Carnegie and to Dave at Historical Football Kits for some of the historical information used above.