Photo. The legendary Kop section at Liverpool's Anfield stadium, which celebrated its 100th birthday in 2006.
The legendary Kop section at Liverpool's Anfield stadium before the start of the match between Liverpool – Hull.
The Kop is the historic landmark for the most famous football stand in the world. It`s Liverpool Football Club`s heart and soul. The Kop celebrated its 100th birthday in 2006. The sight of 16,000 fans packed in, swaying and chanting, gave a tremendous impression on me. I am sure it did on the players on the opposite team too. In the second half they looked frightened to death with the Kop behind their back. The Liverpool supporters loud singing, corny comments and big roars, made the Hull players very paralyzed in some situations.
After the first half Liverpool leaded 2- 1. In the second half Liverpool played towards the Kop and then things started to happen. I can imagine that the Liverpool players feel that the supporters are almost on the pitch at the same time as them. In the match the Kop audience transferred their invisible power to the players so they performed far beyond their ability. It was like the players got an extra lift. Liverpool dominated the match totally. My Norwegian friend Ole Røen shouted enthusiastic : “Look, it`s one way traffic!” Liverpool scored 4 goals in the second half. It was like the Kop sucked in the goals. Everything blew Liverpool`s way and the final score become 6 – 1. The Hull players gave up. The victory could been even greater, but Hull`s excellent goalkeeper did some fantastic saves.
Hull was totally lost in the Ring of Fire (Johnny Cash): Liverpool`s play ground Anfield Road, and the Kop supporters song:
Love is a burning thing
and it makes a firery ring
bound by wild desire
I fell in to a ring of fire...
I fell in to a burning ring of fire
I went down, down, down
and the flames went higher.
And it burns, burns, burns
the ring of fire
the ring of fire.
The taste of love is sweet
when hearts like our's meet
I fell for you like a child
oh, but the fire went wild..
I fell in to a burning ring of fire.....[etc]
I would like to take away the captain Steve Gerrard`s ability to score goals, but it seemed to me that the Kop had a magic touch on the ball when the he scored a fantastic goal in the second half. He made a long shot from the side of the pitch. Like a vacuum machine the Kop used its invisible power to suck the ball in the goal. Sitting near the Kop I could see the ball crossed over the Hull defense and screwed under the bar. The audience got totally amok in happiness, and song the Steven Gerrard song You're just to good to be true, Can't get the ball off of you...
They continued with the song STE GERRARD (Melodi: Que Sera Sera):
Ste Gerrard, Gerrard
He'll pass the ball 40 yards,
He's big, and he's fucking hard,
Ste Gerrard, Gerrard
The Kop is synonymous with Liverpool. The most loyal supporters take their places there. It`s name is inspired from Spion Kop , which was the small hill in the South African province of Natal where a bloody battle had taken place in the Boer War on January 24 1900.
The Kop is like a big red moving berg decorated with banners, scarves and the flags. Songs on the Kop are still dominated by Mersey groups like The Beatles and Gerry and the Pacemakers. Of course the Kop crowd song You`ll never walk alone. Another popular song in the match was the Liverpool supporters own version of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home". This song was popular during the American Civil War that expressed people's waiting for the return of their friends and relatives who were fighting in the war.
The Liverpool supporters know intuitively when to start and end the singing. They are so well connected to each others that they don`t need a conductor as big orchestras and choirs do. It`s the invisible strong link between the supporters that creates the heartbeat of the Kop. I just wonder; could the unique atmosphere on the Kop be explained as a paranormal phenomenon? Is really showing how telepathy works? Telepathy means transfer of information on thoughts or feelings between individuals by means other than the five senses. I can ensure you that feelings and thoughts are strong on the Kop. Nothing compares!
With the spirit of the legendary Liverpool manager Bill Shankly, Liverpool goes on. Once Shankly said: "My idea was to build Liverpool into a bastion of invincibility," he said. "Napoleon had that idea. He wanted to conquer the bloody world. I wanted Liverpool to be untouchable. My idea was to build Liverpool up and up until eventually everyone would have to submit and give in."
Before Shankly arrived at Anfield in 1959 Liverpool had won the league title once in the previous 36 years and they had never won the FA Cup. After he left in 1974 Liverpool FC was one of the most successful and famous football teams in the world.
Outside Anfield Road by the Kop, Liverpool Football Club has raised a statue of Shankly. It reminds both the players and supporters of his spirit. Shankly really praised the supporters of the Kop. They where the 12th player on the Liverpool and lifted the team to great heights, especially on Anfield Road where the team was almost unbeatable as it is today.
It was a very emotional moment when I heard the supporters singing Fields of Anfield Road, which goes like this in the first verse (melody: Fields of Athenry):
Outside the Shankly Gates
I heard a Kopite calling:
Shankly! they have taken you away...
But you left a great eleven
Before you went to heaven
Now it's glory round the Fields of Anfield Road.
As I can see today, Liverpool is still playing in Shankly's way. I am really convinced it`s because of the strong support from the audience on the Kop. Walk on, walk on!
Stein Morten Lund, 30 September 2009
ic Liverpool: News about Liverpool Football Club: