Behind the crest: Ajax

AFC Amsterdamsche Football Club Ajax

  • A. Ajax’s first logo featured a player in the club’s home strip.
  • B. In 1911, Ajax were promoted to the highest tier of Dutch football for the very first time joining Sparta Rotterdam, who also played in red and white stripes. The Dutch FA ordered Ajax to change and it is from then that the famous single vertical red stripe on a white shirt design was born. Ajax’s band with white shorts and white socks is still in use today and has since become one of the most distinctive designs in world football.
    Ajax the Great was an infamous soldier from the Trojan war
    Ajax the Great is an infamous soldier who fought in the Trojan war.
  • C. In 1928, Ajax swapped their footballer wearing the club’s home colours with a depiction of ‘Ajax the Great’, a heroic symbol of strength and skill in Greek mythology. The image has become an iconic symbol of the club and its values.
  • D. The current version of the Ajax badge retains ‘Ajax the Great’ albeit in abstract graphic design form. In 1990, the new rebranding was met with fierce criticism and was initially very unpopular with sections of the Ajax support. There was even a campaign to revert back to the old badge by the name of ‘Geef Ajax z’n Gezicht Terug!’ (Give Ajax it’s face back!).

By Ryan Hall

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