The 2015-16 Premier League season will mark 110 years since ‘The Kop’ came into existence at Anfield. Home to the most incredible supporters in world football, its atmosphere is simply unparalleled anywhere on the planet.
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In 1906, shortly after we won our second league title, the club’s hierarchy decided to reward the loyalty of the fans by constructing a new brick and cinder banking at the Walton Breck road end of the ground.
The structure has stood ever since, although admittedly it looks somewhat different in the modern era. It was originally christened as the Spion Kop, in memory of the many scousers who died in the Boer War.
It wasn’t until 1928 that the stand was altered to include terracing and a massive roof, providing some much-needed protection to the thousands of fans who would gather in their masses each week to watch the games.
Anfield became one of the most feared venues for visiting teams, as the opposition would point towards the power the fans held over the outcomes of matches. Who could forget the infamous European semi-final against Inter Milan in 1965, where the Kop put ‘the fear of God’ into the Italian giants, winning 3-1.
Those that watched from the Kop became a family, while the structure itself became a place to remember both the good times and the bad. In 1989, it became a lasting memoriam for the 96 fans that were innocently killed during the Hillsborough disaster.
In 1994, the Kop changed from a terrace to an all-seater stand. Pieces of the original terracing were put up for sale at an auction, while some can still be bought in aid of the Forget-Me-Not Campaign.
Even now, you’ll often hear the phrase: ‘one of those special Anfield nights’. Our reputation is one that stretches around the globe, while our history is something that can never be taken away from us.
Every player that walks down those stairs, touches the famous sign and walks out onto the Anfield turf knows that they’re in for a special and quite possibly unique experience. The Kop has long since recognised any exceptional talent, not just those wearing the Liverpool red, and their stamp of approval will always mean a great deal.
You’ll Never Walk Alone.