The Famous Spion Kop
The Spion Kop, or just The Kop is recognised as being the heartbeat of Liverpool FC and known throughout the world as the most famous football stand. The Kop was erected after Liverpool had won their second League championship in 1906. It was a new stand built along the Walton Breck Road.
A local journalist Ernest Edwards, who was the sports editor of the Liverpool Daily Post and Liverpool Echo newspapers, christened it the Spion Kop. It was named after a famous hill in South Africa where a local regiment had suffered heavy losses in a battle during the Boer War on 23rd January 1900.
More than 300 men had died, many of them from Liverpool, as the British army attempted to capture the strategic hilltop. Around the same period a stand was also built along Kemlyn Road. There were not many changes to the ground until 1928, when the Kop was redesigned and extended to hold 30,000 all standing spectators. There was also a roof erected at the same time.
Many stadiums in England had stands named after the Spion Kop, for example at Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United and the Bebington Kop at Tranmere to name just three.
Anfield's was the largest Kop in the country at the time—it was able to hold more supporters than the total capacity of some football grounds.
In the same year the topmast of the SS Great Eastern, one of the first iron ships, was rescued from the ship breaking yard at nearby Rock Ferry, and was transported up Everton Valley by a team of horses, to be erected alongside the new Kop. It still stands there to this day, serving as a flag pole, where many fans meet before games quite often to exchange tickets.
A brief history of The Kop in video
There are so many special occasions to treasure from visits to The Kop over the years. Most recently for example, the second leg against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final in May 2019. Liverpool were 3-0 down from the first leg but an incredible performance on and off the pitch ensured we made it to our 9th European Cup Final.
As well as Barcelona of course there have so many more. Too many to list really. No doubt you will have your own special memories. And, I'm sure, there will be many more to come in the future.