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Question time: Why are there “three lions on a shirt”?

Was hat es eigentlich mit den drei Löwen auf den Fußballtrikots der englischen Nationalmannschaft auf sich, die unter anderem auch in dem bekannten Lied „Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home)“ besungen werden? Unser Redakteur erklärt es Ihnen in diesem Auszug aus der Read On.


Why are there “three lions on a shirt”?

By John Bilstein

1 You hear it on the radio or when fans sing it at a game: “three lions on a shirt” in the song “Footballs Coming Home”.

2 But what are those three lions doing on the football shirts of the English national team? The three stylized litte beasts sitting on every England player’s chest represent the county’s national crest. 

3 The lions have been part of the English royal arms since the days of King Richard I, better known as Richard the Lionheart.

4 His father, Henry II, had two lions in his crest; but Richard’s mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, also had a lion in her coat of arms, so Richard ended up with three.

5 The three lions have been guarding England for more than 800 years now, so why shouldn’t they bring luck to the English team? 


1–2 (football) shirt Trikot – stylised stilisiert – beast Tier – chest Brust – to represent darstellen – national crest Nationalwappen

3–5 royal arms königliches Wappen – Richard the Lionheart Richard Löwenherz – Henry II Heinrich II. – Eleanor of Aquitaine Eleonore von Aquitanien – coat of arms Wappen – to end up with s.th. schließlich etw. haben – to guard beschützen