I wanted to drop the anchor, says Bell
As the Dockers prepare for a radical rebrand, Fremantle legend Peter Bell has admitted he wanted the club to dump both the iconic anchor and the contentious team song.
Fans anger at plans for a radical change to the home-and-away guernsey for 2011 exploded online, with the popular Dockerland website registering hundreds of complaints about proposed changes to the guernsey.
The club is preparing to unveil a radical new home-and-away guernsey for next season at Saturday’s Doig Medal count which will feature three parallel chevrons across the shoulders.
The anchor – synonymous with club’s maritime tradition and also the weight of expectation over the years – is tipped to be moved to the back of the guernsey.
And former skipper Bell said the idea was brought up by him during the end of his stint as the club’s most senior player.
“In my last couple of years there I did ask the management there to consider getting rid of the anchor and the song,” Bell said.
“I just thought the song was a bit boring.
“And I think the two best Fremantle guernseys are the all purple with the white, and the all white with the purple.”
Bell’s comments add more weight to the club’s decision to dump the anchor from the front of the jumper, with the move thought to be tied in to an agreement with American clothing giant Levi Strauss.
Fremantle are believed to have reached an agreement with the clothing manufacturer that they can now use the Dockers name in official merchandise – but in return could not use the anchor prominently on the guernsey.
In 1996, Levi challenged the club’s right to use the name “Fremantle Dockers”, specifically on clothing.
As a result, the club and AFL discontinued the official use of the “Dockers” nickname in 1997.
After sportsnewsfirst.com.au highlighted the anger of the Freo faithful yesterday, the growing tide of dissent grew even louder – although Dockers officials were staying silent.
Media across the country followed the story.