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What does 'WCF' mean on the Detroit Lions jersey?

Jake Nichol November 26, 2021
What does 'WCF' mean on the Detroit Lions jersey?
Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

You might have noticed the Detroit Lions have the initials ‘WCF’ on their jerseys during NFL games, but what does it mean? Who does it honour and when did it first appear?

After 11 games in the 2021 season, the Detroit Lions are still awaiting their first win of the NFL campaign.

They have lost 10 fixtures, and secured a 10-10 draw after overtime against the Pittsburgh Steelers earlier in November.

Current head coach Dan Campbell has been in post since 2021, but the Lions have yet to record a win under his tenure.

During every Lions game, the team sports the initials ‘WCF’ on their jerseys.

What does this mean, and how long have the Detroit Lions had WCF on their jerseys?

Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Detroit Lions ‘WCF’ meaning explained

Appearing on the left-hand sleeve of the jersey, ‘WCF’ is a way for the Detroit Lions to honour their former owner.

A grandson of Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford, the late William Clay Ford was the long-time majority owner of the Lions.

Photo by Cliff Welch /Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images

After serving as a minority owner, on November 22nd, 1963 – the same day that President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas – he took full control of the franchise.

Ford died five days before his 89th birthday in 2014.

His widow, Martha become owner upon his death, with their daughter Sheila assuming ownership control in 2020.

When did it first appear?

Ford died in March 2014 with the initials featuring on the Lions’ jersey ever since.

In a change for the 2021 season, the design was moved.

It was relocated from the chest area to the sleeve, in matching colours with the jersey itself.

Under Ford’s ownership, the Lions made the playoffs 10 times, winning just one game.

The Lions have never won, or even competed in the Superbowl.

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images
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Jake can usually be found writing about or watching anything to do with motorsport – from Formula 1 to NASCAR to British Truck Racing. His work as a motorsport journalist has been published by the likes of Autosport, Motorsport.com and Motorsport News – all highly respected names. Away from racing he is a keen amateur astronomer, podcast listener and enjoys long walks in the park with his three dogs.