RTK stands for Retake The Kop, a recent campaign initiated by the Liverpool fanzine Red All Over The Land.
Martin, a forum member from This Is Anfield writes:
As a discussion is heating up in the forums over the following article, in relation to the current, and worrying, trend to be gripping our beloved Anfield…
I was one of the crowd, because that’s all we seemed to be, recently against Reading.
Before we start, let me get one thing out of the way, I, regrettably, am an “out-of-towner”. Recently I decided its been to long since I visited Anfield (its been to long since I had any type of get-away!), and as my daughters constantly see me watching football on TV, I decided its time I showed them the Liverpool way (before their evil grandparents got them following Manure or Chavski!). The training has been going well, with them asking is Liverpool playing everyday, and asking can they watch it when they are.
As a treat for my eldest, who is 8 on Christmas eve, I decided an early birthday present should be in order, so I arranged to bring her to a game, show her around Anfield, let her see the club for all its history and passion.
Needless to say we took in the stadium tour and she was amazed, the glittering trophies, all the medals, all the stories.
So to matchday, seated midway up on the left of the main stand, we sang You’ll Never Walk Alone, (she doesn’t know all the words yet, but she shouted the main parts!). Then we kick off. The Reading fans are in fine voice, filling the ground with their verses. I rub my cold hands gleefully, waiting to join in the singing and banter that would, no doubt, follow.
Half time came and went. Emma turns to me and said ‘œare we allowed to sing too?’ ‘œOf course we are’ I replied, pointing to the Kop, ‘œsee the Kop there, they are known all over the world for their singing and humour’. Then the Fields of Anfield Road started from the chorus, I held her hand and started singing, as did 3 or 4 around me, trying to deflect the stares from people around us, then it died down before we reached then end of the chorus! Yet again she turned to me and said ‘œwhat happened, why did they stop?’.
The Reading fans were in great voice for most of the match, for the couple of hundred that made the trip, getting behind their losing team, showing their appreciation for their efforts.
The full time whistle blew, and a Â¾ full stadium stood to applaud the teams from the pitch, as the 2 giant flags were waved behind the Kop goal.
Personally, I was completely gutted at the world famous 12th man. The atmosphere left no sort of impression on Emma at all, she enjoyed the match, and her favourite player Robbie Fowler coming on, but that was it.
The last match I was at in Anfield was the 2-0 win v Roma in 2002, and I apologised when the match was over to the 2 women sitting infront of me for any heat of the moment language and loud singing that the group I was with, (8 of us), might have used, and we were all hoarse the next day.
It may have been that it was ‘œjust’ Reading, it may have been that we beat them no more than 10 days previous, or it may have been that the 12th man had better things to do, but personally I felt there was no atmosphere at all, except for the bit created by the Reading support, in Anfield.
By the time I got back from Liverpool and got online again, Adam LFC had started this thread, and with good reason to!
‘œThis is a call to arms… but not those in long-sleeved sweatshirts worn under the club shirt. Not those that spend the match phoning each other and saying “stand up”, “wave to us”, “we’re in the big end opposite the Bordeaux fans…”; not those who support the team for five minutes then start slating them if we’re not 3-0 up.
Seriously. Our support needs sorting out before the quilts have watered us down to nothing. Let’s wind back a bit. We support the greatest, most romantic football club in the world. I say romantic because our tales are so many and so f-ing heroic that it’s like a book of legends and it makes you cry with pride that you’ve been a part of it. Now, sometimes, you just want to cry…
We used to have a pin-stripe scarf with a United Nations style emblem woven around the Liverbird: “Liverpool F.C: Supporters All Over The World”. That’s a thing of pride. Forget all the Local Support v Out Of Town debate. A supporter is a supporter no matter where they come from, just so long as they’ve had their education.
This is where we’re falling down. Not so long ago we’d sing “You got your education from The Kop”. Being a Liverpool supporter stood for something. Supporting this club brought responsibilities. You were different. You dressed different. You didn’t follow the moronic chants that every other club came up with. You were part of something – something known and revered all over the world, and it was f-ing brilliant. Above all else, you supported Liverpool and you got behind the team.
What are we now? A gang of *****, mainly. No different from Chelsea or Arsenal or Man.United. Most of the community on this site are right-thinking Reds who cherish the tradition and the values, so no-one needs me to list the litany of disgrace. All I’ll say is, you wouldn’t take a mobile into church and start taking photies of the priest.
Things have got to change, brethren, and soon. Good fans no longer feel a part of the increasingly shallow Anfield experience and it won’t be long before more and more start spewing it. We need a reasonable, sensible, enforceable charter that properly educates as to what is required of them if they’re to have the honour of representing this club of ours. In the spirit of KFS, let’s get back to basics and reclaim the terraces.’
‘œDavid Moores’ greatest utterance was “Liverpool FC exists to win trophies and to be a source of pride for its supporters”. We should be supporters the club can be proud of. This club does not exist to make shareholders wealthy, nor massage the ego of a wealthy chairman – it exists because we will it. Without us the club is nothing – that is a great responsibility. We can not fail it.’
Adam has hit the nail smack bang on the head here, I may be a once-in-a-blue-moon-visitor-to-Anfield and on top of that an-out-of-towner, but the match previous I gave it my all, and at this match I wanted to do the same, albeit toned down a bit because I had a minor with me, I wanted to sing, shout and , fuck it, dance too! I wanted to show her what it ment to support Liverpool.
A brief overview of some of the comments felt by other forum members who also witnessed the lack of love for our club.
‘œit is starting to become more and more quiet at Anfield which is sad we dont wanna end up like the chelski arsenal man you fans who dont sing we are famous for being the best fans in the world and at more and more matches we are hearing chants from the any ends of “you’re support is f-ing shit”
come on lets get behind the reds’
‘œit is really really disappointing when the atmosphere is poor i wasn’t there for the reading game but at the Blackburn match i tried desperately in one of the rare moments in that game there was some singing to get some people around me to sing but to no avail i just got dirty looks and had to carry on singing alone
i will be at the man city game which is our next league home game and to anyone else who will be there i beg you to get behind the reds and show how we are the best fans in the world, i know it wont be like the atmosphere of a man you game or a euro nights game but come on lets not be told where shit fans by man city’
‘œThe atmosphere at Anfield at the weekend against Reading was woeful, still fortress Anfield though’
‘œ100% agreed Chronic. I was in the paddock and was embarrassed. Reading fans were better throughout. “Shhhhhhhhhh” was so shameful. When the main stand attempted in vain to string a lyric together reading simply replied “We forgot….we forgot…. we forgot that you were ‘ere.”
Cheeky bastards, but they’re right. Shittest atmosphere ive ever experienced’
‘œIt’s funny, I was actually thinking about starting a topic about this today. The atmosphere at the Reading game was the worst ever. Usually this season it’s taken until the start of the second half for the Kop (and usually the team) to wake up but last weekend I guess it was just like being in church. ”
We support the most successful British club ever, with a long line of history and traditions, and we ourselves have claimed us to be the greatest fans in the world!
We have followed them through thick and thin, joyous occasions and heartbreaking tragedies.
‘œFans of smaller clubs dont EXPECT to win anything. They dont take winning for granted, hence, they are not so depressed or damning when they lose.
They also take victory as something positive and a nice surprise, NOT something to be expected.
When they lose they can forget easily, and when they win the remember it a long time and cherish it.
Wimbledon fans remember winning promotion, winning the FA cup, winning local derbies.
Top club fans remember losing finals, losing derbies, not winning the FA cup, not winning the league, not doing as well as expected.
Some people thing Liverpool should be on top of the league, that that is our rightful place and anywhere else is failure… that is utter bollocks and NOT something Shanks said.
The Kop was such a good place because before Shanks came the fans were as happy as at other not successful clubs. The success that Shanks brought was so unexpected and so greatfully received that it created that Liverpool spirit that cant be surpassed by anyone.
Shanks said we want to conquer Europe, NOT that we deserve to or have any right to. He used methods that were ahead of their time, and made a team that was unbeatable, BUT, we were and are only as good as what the players, manager, club and fans put in.’
‘œWe need to get an atmosphere back into the most famous stand in world football.’
‘œIt seems to me that not enough fans realise what we really have and how happy and lucky we should feel and how indebted to the club we should feel.
People say it is a privilege to play for Liverpool, BUT it is also a privilege to be a FAN !!!! Some people need to be reminded of that !!!!!’
‘œAround the world, Liverpool fans are known for their boisterous singing (even when 3-0 down in the CL final!!), and it is a total disgrace that the home of this wonderful tradition should turn into anything like the prawn brigade at ManUre.
I’m planning a trip out there sometime next year, and I’d be very disappointed to step into those hallowed grounds for the first time, and be outsung by the away team.
FFS, it’s an honour to be in there, and if the folks in there aren’t going to stand up and keep the Kop and Anfield tradition going, then why don’t they stay at home and let the real fans in there?
We the loyal-out-of-town-faithful shouldn’t take any offence to this as we know we are the exception. Let’s just make sure we make ourselves heard loud and clear (in whatever accent lady-luck had you grow up with) when we make our pilgrimages to Anfield.’
‘œSad how people take things for granted at times, they don’t realize how truely lucky they are that they get to be at Anfield watching the team live week in and out…’
‘œMy first visit to Anfield was Sept 86 vs Aston Villa. I was 8 yrs old and my Dad took me on the Kop. I was overawed by everything, the noise, the crowd and of course the team.
I recently took a friend from the Midlands (a Birmingham fan but we shouldn’t hold that against her) to Anfield for the Spurs game as she had always wanted to go, just to hear the singing of YNWA. And whilst it was like a lifelong dream come true for her she admitted that she was somewhat disappointed with the lack of passion and verve with which it was sung.
The Châ‚¬l$ki European Cup Semi-final showed how Anfield can be and how it should be. Never has an atmosphere gripped like that and yes, it’s different when playing Reading on a grim Saturday for the 2nd time in 10 days but it’s our team, our club, our ground and our home and we should be proud of that and remind people who we are.’
‘œI blame people who don’t sing, all too often I have watched people, scousers included, not utter a single word of YNWA, or rose to chant during the entire match. Why not sing? Everybody is at Anfield to support Liverpool, why not support them in the best possible way: by singing your heart out for the greatest club in the world. It’s little to ask in way of repaying all the joy they have given us over the years’
RTK: The next public step – FLAGDAY – PSV at home 22nd November . Early Bird Special, be in place 45 mins before kick off.
What’s worse than a silent 40,000 home support? A silent 60,000 home support. Maybe we can call the new stadium The Library.
(Apologies to anyone whose posts I have dissected, or left out. I am just trying to piece, from what I felt that day, together from your respected comments)