Page 28 - The Twelfth Man - Issue 1
P. 28

The Spion KOP
Liverpool’s Twelfth Man
Issue 1
 Anfield is the home of the Spion Kop, a place of legend and wonderment and home to the most knowledgeable and vociferous supporters in England. Miracles have been performed on the pitch at Anfield and its hard to dispute that some of the most famous victories have been in part due to the unbelievable noise and support that cascades down from the famous terraces of the Kop, the teams twelfth man. But how did the Kop become a part of Anfield folklore revered throughout the world by players, managers and supporters of opposing clubs.
Let me tell you the story of a poor boy...
The first mention of the Spion Kop at Anfield
was when a local reporter at the Liverpool
Echo, Ernest Edwards named it. It was
mentioned in reference to a famous hill near
Ladysmith in South Africa which was the
scene of the Battle of Spion Kop when on 23rd.
January 1900 in the Boer War when after a fierce 2-day battle 332 soldiers from the local Lancaster regiments had lost their lives.
In 1906 the recently crowned league champions Liverpool were busy redeveloping Anfield.
The size of the hill on Walton Breck Rd and Oakfield Rd was the reason why Ernest Edwards had refernced the Battle of the Spion Kop.
The Spion Kop of Liverpool Football Club was born.
The first instance of the power of the Spion Kop was in 1965 when Liverpool played Inter Milan and the Reds beat them 3-1, Inter were the reigning european champions at the time and they were eassilly dispatched and those who where there that night swear that they got off lightly.
supporters and the team became one force, a team of 12 men against 11 and together they were some force.
When Gerry Marsden’s You’ll Never
Walk Alone became the anthem on the Kop there was no finer sight or sound in football. Scarves and flags held aloft as the Kopites belted out the most forceful song in football, this song was made for Liverpool and perfectly sums up both the club and the city, there is no such thing has a stranger in Liverpool and nobody walks alone.
They have witnessed some amazing nights at Anfield in front of the Spion Kop, the famous stadium is known throughout the world for the passion of the supporters who never know when they are beaten, they transmit a tribal force
on to the pitch which is embraced by the players and the force it creates is there for all to see. The likes of Inter Milan, Barcelona, Chelsea, Roma, Dortmund etc will vouch for that. Nights when the Kop and the team prove that impossible is nothing but only for those who believe. The Kop at Anfield believes and that’s why those nights are now part of Anfield folklore, nights when everyone becomes one and together, they take on anybody and then show them the way to go home, defeated.
   Shankly had
the full power
of the Spion
Kop, a terrace
built to house
Kopites but
on many
there were
thousands more that that on the famous old terracing which was now the home of the Twelfth man.
In the 1960’s the Spion Kop really came to the fore, Shankly was working his magic and the people of Liverpool who were standing on that Kop adored him and the
Anything is possible but only for those who believe
Possibly the greatest night of all occurred on May 7th 2019 Liverpool were trailing 3-0 after the first leg to the mighty Barcelona, the Catalans with Messi, Suarez and co strutted in to Anfield thinking that the job was done, they were

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