In early November 2014, when I first redesigned the East Fife Football Club badge, the club was still in the bottom tier of the SPFL. In the 2015/16 season, East Fife were crowned champions of League Two and gained promotion to League One, where they remain today.
As a result of local demand for a senior football club, East Fife Football Club was established in 1903. The club’s first kit consisted of a shirt of green and white hoops, similar to those first adopted by Celtic that same year. In 1911, the green and white was swapped for black and gold, which have remained the club’s primary colours ever since.
After applying for entry into the Scottish Football League on a number of occasions, East Fife joined the reformed Scottish Second Division in 1921 with the incorporation of their Central League into the SFL.
East Fife holds a special place in the history of Scottish football. The Fifers have appeared in three Scottish Cup Finals (1927, 1938, 1950), reigning victorious against Kilmarnock in the Final replay before a crowd of 92,716 at Hampden Park on 27 April 1938. Until Hibernian defeated Rangers in the 2015/16 Scottish Cup Final, East Fife was the only non-top tier club to have ever achieved the honour. It’s also worth noting that they have also won the Scottish League Cup three times (1948, 1950, 1954), a first among all Scottish clubs.
The Fifers first began using a badge on their kit in 1950. This original badge consisted of a shield, divided into thirds. The top portion of the shield featured the club’s initials, while the middle portion featured a saltire and the bottom portion featured a thistle. This was used until 1970, when it was replaced by the club’s initials alone. Some variation of the initials remained until 1991, when the first version of the current badge was introduced. Like the 1950 badge, the current badge features a Saltire, with the addition of a superimposed football.
For my initial redesign, I experimented with many variations on their current badge, but instead opted for a more minimalistic script (inspired in part by their ‘EFFC’ strip worn 1973 to 1976). In order to commemorate their Scottish Cup feat, I added a star to their badge. As no incarnation of the East Fife badge had ever featured a local reference, I also made use of a pickaxe for the bar of the ‘F’ in order to acknowledge the social history of the former Burgh of Buckhaven and Methil and the historical importance of coal mining in East Fife. Below is my initial redesign which was first published on 3 November 2014:
Although I remain quite pleased with my 2014 redesign, I decided to move away from the above monogram, as well as the current shield, in favour of a round badge. I included the Saltire in my latest redesign as it is the only consistent feature of East Fife’s historical badges. (The omission of a Saltire within a shield also avoids a potential confrontation with the Court of the Lord Lyon.) The Saltire is enclosed in a circle, behind a gold fishing net, a reference to the prevalent fishing industry in East Fife. The historic burgh seals of every settlement on the coast in East Fife feature either the Firth of Forth, fishing boats, fishing nets or fish (or a combination of several of these), including the burgh seal of Buckhaven, Methil and Innerleven, the locale of East Fife FC. The fishing net also acts as a goal net, receiving a football. Lastly, I placed the Scottish Cup star from my previous design into the outer ring.
For the home kit, I went with the club’s traditional black and gold vertical stripes with black shorts. I also included black and gold hooped socks, last worn in 1939. For the away shirt, I employed red with dark red herringbone stripes.
As ever, I am indebted to Dave at Historical Football Kits for some of the historical information used above.