From TheChels.info - The Chelsea Football Club Wiki
For an official history of the club badge see the Official Chelsea website.
One of the variations of Chelsea's first crest, reflecting the early club nickname of "The Pensioners", named for the "Chelsea Pensioners"; residents at the Royal Hospital Chelsea - a retirement and nursing home for former members of the British Army located nearby in Chelsea. The crest was never worn on shirts but did appear on later matchday programmes.
A stop-gap crest, used for just the 1952-53 season. Following Ted Drake's appointment as Chelsea manager in 1952 he transformed the club's image, replacing the "Pensioners" nickname with "The Blues", and introducing a new crest. This crest featuring the club's initials was used while the new crest was being designed.
Inspired by the civic coat of arms of the Metropolitan Borough of Chelsea, this badge was to remain in use for a 33-year period. Based upon the Arms of Earl Cadogan, Viscount Chelsea, president of the club, with the staff representing the Abbot of Westminster, the roses representing England, with footballs completing the design. First worn on shirts in 1960, the badge underwent various changes over the years when worn on shirts, with just the lion rampant used after a few years, though this remained the official club badge until the mid-1980s.
A radical re-design of the club badge was instigated in 1986, under then-chairman Ken Bates, with a more realistic image of a lion replacing the lion rampant, along with the club's intials. Despite remaining in use for almost 20 years, the badge was unpopular with many fans, and following sustained requests for a change ahead of the club's centenary year it was replaced with a more traditional badge under new owner Roman Abramovich.
In 2005 a new badge along more traditional lines was introduced, with the lion rampant reinstated along with other recognisable features from the earlier 1953 design. Officially unveiled in November 2004, the badge was introduced in May 2005, in time for Chelsea's centenary season. The badge was slightly modified to reflect the club's 100 years in the initial commemorative year.
Peter Kenyon said at the launch of the new badge:
"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."
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