Launched in November 2004, the new badge became effective from May 2005. Additionally, a special centenary version was used during that initial commemorative year.
At the launch, Peter Kenyon said: “We are incredibly proud of Chelsea’s heritage. The design of this new badge is based on the one from the 1950s and it was a conscious decision to do this.
“As we approach our centenary year, and the club embarks on a new and very exciting era, it is appropriate that we have a new identity that reflects our tradition and can represent us for the next 100 years.”
Probably the most famous of the Chelsea badges and used for 33 years, this design was inspired by the civic coat of arms of the Metropolitan Borough of Chelsea.
The lion was derived from the Arms of Earl Cadogan who was president of the club and also held the title Viscount Chelsea. The staff is that of the Abbot of Westminster whose jurisdiction extended over Chelsea. The roses represent England and the footballs more obviously represent the game.
Chelsea did not start wearing badges on their shirts until 1960 making this the first one used in that way. For the first few seasons the full badge, complete with circle, was sewn onto the shirts.
However due to the complexity of the design several simplified variations were stitched into the shirts during the 60s and 70s, even though the full design complete with circle remained the official club badge. The cup triumphs of the early 70s were marked with the addition of an FA Cup symbol and stars.
In 1986 the club adopted our fourth badge to make the most of the growing merchandising opportunities around football. While the design of the lion and CFC letters was always constant, several colour combinations were used over time and the design was at various times used within circle or shield outlines.
The badge was used for almost 19 years and many fans will have started supporting Chelsea knowing no other form. While it served the club well, fans inundated the new board of directors with demands for a return to the old-style design to take Chelsea into a new era, especially ahead of the centenary year.
When Ted Drake became Chelsea manager in 1952, he instigated a move away from the old ‘Pensioners’ tag and wanted a new image to go with the new nickname, the Blues. While the new design was being worked on, this cipher of the club’s initials was used for a solitary season as a stop-gap.
This is the the first Chelsea badge showing one of the famous Chelsea Pensioners that gave rise to our early nickname. It was never worn on any shirts however but did appear on later matchday programmes.