Leeds United’s first badge appeared in 1934. Like Leeds City before them, the club adopted the Coat of arms of Leeds, which remained on the kit in various guises until 1961. For a number of seasons after 1961–62, when the all-white strip replaced the blue and gold, the shirts sported no badge at all.
A perching owl badge was added to the strip in 1964. The owl derived from the three owls that feature on the city’s coat of arms, which in turn were taken from the coat of arms of Sir John Savile, the first alderman of Leeds. The owl was usually navy blue, but was coloured gold for the 1968 Football League Cup Final.
Between 1971 and 1973, Leeds used the “LUFC” script that runs down the centre of the current badge, albeit in a diagonal fashion rather than the present vertical. The script made a reappearance on the ‘retro-look’ Asics kit used during the 1995–96 season.
In 1973 came the embodiment of 1970s imagery with the iconic “smiley” badge, made up of the letters L and U in bubble writing. Revie’s predilection for gimmicks was years ahead of its time, and done with the explicit intention of gaining acceptance from a public outside West Yorkshire.
In 1977, the smiley badge was rotated through 45° and the yellow and blue colours were reversed. The yellow smiley returned the following year, but was now enclosed in a circle surrounded by the words “LEEDS UNITED AFC”.
In the 1978–79 season, a new badge appeared that was similar to that of the previous season, except now the words “LEEDS UNITED AFC” enclosed a stylised peacock (a reference to the club’s nickname, “The Peacocks”) rather than the yellow smiley.
In 1984, another badge was introduced which lasted until 1998, making it the longest lived of the modern era. The distinctive rose and ball badge used the traditional blue, gold and white colours, and incorporated the White Rose of York, the club’s name, and a football in the core section.
In the 1998–99 season, the club logo was replaced with a shield design. The shield retained the white rose, as well as the blue, gold and white colours, with “LUFC” reading vertically down the centre. In 1999, the badge was amended, when the football from the 1984 badge was added to the centre of the rose.
On 20 February 2019, Leeds United revealed a predominantly gold coloured badge that would be worn during the club’s centenary season. The badge retained the existing shield, but replaced the “LUFC” script with “LEEDS UNITED” above and “100 YEARS” below the shield. The crest also carried the dates “1919” and “2019”.