Martin Smith column: New badge, new era for Sheffield Wednesday

Dejphon Chansiri and the 'new crest'
Dejphon Chansiri and the 'new crest'

AS changes of image go, it’s a bold one.

Was Wednesday’s 70’s owl crest starting to look a little dated? Was anyone bothered?

Being dated and not caring what others think can be a sign of strength and tradition.

It can also be a sign of blinkered thinking within an institution - once the hallmark of the Owls board but broken by Lee Strafford, continued by Milan Mandaric and built on by current owner Dejphon Chansiri.

But is this new/old crest a step forward?

The team is making huge strides on the pitch, the fans have that characteristic Wednesdayite bounce about them - not that they ever really lost it.

There’s confidence in the air and something to believe in again.

But is a 1950s cartoon owl the way forward for a club planning a 21st century future?

In heraldry - the system by which coats of arms and crests are devised - the Owl is a symbol of vigilance and acute wit. Admirable and worthy traits.

But why is this one better than the old badge with its eyeball-to-eyeball stare, hooked claw and back arched ready to pounce?

The Yorkshire crest is back on the new/old one and the motto Consilio et anamis (wisdom and courage) makes a welcome return.

Dejphon Chansiri and Carlos Carvalhal are building something special at Hillsborough and supporters are keen to buy in to a new era of success.

At a club that made looking back at past achievements a structural straight-jacket for decades the new Wednesday looks forward to a bright future.

The inquests into the death of 96 Liverpool supporters in 1989 will hear the coroner’s summing up from today.

Hopefully their families will find some justice in its findings, and they and Sheffield Wednesday will be able to honour the dead and look to the future.

A new Sheffield Wednesday is emerging into a world where hopefully, with every respect to the victims’ families, the word Hillsborough can again primarily mean the place where Sheffield Wednesday play and not only the place where the 96 died so tragically at an FA Cup semi-final.

Some Owls fans understandably point out that they don’t care what the badge looks like as long as the players give everything to the cause it represents.

Important though it may appear, a new badge is just a badge.

The heart and soul of the club lives on.