Greenock Morton Football Club was established as Morton Football Club in 1874. The current badge, derived from the Greenock coat of arms, is strong and some variation of it has been used since 1978. Before this, from 1964, a simpler badge, only bearing the club’s name and three stars, was used on occasion.
In reworking such a strong badge, I did not want to design something that would appear too similar to other potential badges. I considered the other clubs which feature a ship in full sail on their badge: Stranraer, formed in 1870 and one of the oldest clubs in Scotland, and Clyde, formed in 1877. The ship on Stranraer’s badge was adopted in 1961, while the ship on Clyde’s badge, from what I can tell, came into being in the mid-1930s. If I was interested in going with either the age of the club or longevity of the use of a ship in a club’s badge, Stranraer and Clyde, respectively, beat out Morton. Given the length of time that Clyde’s badge has been in use, I decided to include a ship in that redesign. The shipbuilding industry is tied very closely to the club’s name (despite the fact that they are playing in Cumbernauld at present, some nine miles north of the River Clyde, as the crow flies) and the presence of a ship on their badge predates the next earliest badge design by more than two decades. Clearly, I have put too much thought into this.
For Morton, I considered using the Free French Memorial on Lyle Hill, Greenock, which honours the fallen sailors of Free French Naval Forces who were based at Greenock from 1940 to 1945, as well as the James Watt Dock Crane (named after the 19th-century Greenock-born inventor), the latter of which appears in a rendering below (which I consider interesting, but unsuitable for a shirt badge). Ultimately, I departed from symbolism entirely and adopted the main colours of the current Morton badge to form a stylised, modern, ‘GM’ monogram (round so as to suggest a football), which can be seen below:
For the home shirt, I went with traditional blue and white hoops, which have featured on the vast majority of Morton’s home shirts from their earliest days (an aborted departure from which caused great unrest among Morton supporters in 2016). For the away shirt, the body is yellow (used commonly among many Morton away strips), with a seafoam green for the collar and sleeves.
As ever, I am indebted to Dave at Historical Football Kits for some of the historical information used above.