No. 52 – The Field off Anfield Road
In 1882 Everton were forced to find a home ground to play their football League games in which a field off Priory Road was rented. Later on, John Holding then secured the rights to a new field from John Orwell off Anfield Road for a small rental fee.
September 28, 1884 is the official date of when Anfield witnessed its first game when Everton took on Earlstown. However, in 1892 after a bitter dispute, Everton built a new stadium at Goodison Park. Houlding decided to form a new club around Anfield called Liverpool Football Club and the rest is history!
On 23rd September 1892 Liverpool FC played their first competitive match at Anfield. They faced local side Higher Walton and ran out winners on the day 8-0 in front of some 200 fans.
In the TIA Stand by Stand Guide on TIA, a very good guide to Anfield can be found….
“Anfield became one of the most famous stadiums in the World. Over the years four stands were built, the famous Kop, Centenary, Anfield Road and Main Stand.”
“The Spion Kop was a mighty terrace behind one of the goals at Anfield. It was built in 1906, as a reward to the fans after Liverpool had clinched their second league championship. It was an enormous structure, capable of holding as many as 25,000 supporters. It had 100 steps and towered above the Walton Breck Road behind the ground. The name came from a small hill in South Africa known as Spion Kop where in January 1900, during the Boer war, a battle left hundreds dead. Many of the soldiers killed came from Lancashire regiments with a strong contingent from Liverpool. The Liverpool Echo was the first to suggest calling it the Kop.
In 1928 the Kop was extended and a roof added, this took the capacity to well over 27,000 and the new steel roof added to the noise factor. The noise generated and the swaying of the thousands on match day made for a great sight and was famous world wide. Spontaneous singing became a trademark of the Kop and the emergence of the Beatles in the 60’s added to the atmosphere as the Kopites sang their favourite tunes and chanted the players names.
On April 30th 1994, following the Hillsborough tragedy of 1989, the Taylor report ordered that every terrace in England must be demolished.
So in May 1994 Liverpool Football Club played in front of the Kop for a final time. Unfortunately the Reds lost 1-0 on the day with Jeremy Goss of Norwich spoiling the party. The occasion was still a memorable one and players from the past such as Dalglish, Keegan and Aldridge joined Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley’s wives on the pitch.
The Kop is the biggest single tier structure in Britain, with a capacity of almost 13,000.”
“The Centenary Stand, as its name suggests was built to commemorate Liverpool Football Club’s 100 year centenary, in 1992. It has two tiers and can accommodate for almost 12,000 supporters. It hosts executive boxes and the banquet lounge, as well as PA box, TV set and police operations room.”
Anfield Road End
“This stand is opposite to the Kop and is the newest structure at the ground. It has two tiers, with the top tier only small. Over the years it has hosted the away supporters at the ground and presently still does. This adds to the atmosphere in this part of the ground.”
Main Stand / Paddock Enclosure
“This is the oldest surviving structure, with the Paddock enclosure located at the bottom of the stand. It hosts the commentators and directors on matchdays. Within the stand itself is the famous bootroom and team changing rooms.”
61,905 v Wolverhampton Wanderers- FA Cup 4th Round, February 2nd, 1952
Modern All Seated Attendance Record:
44,929 v Manchester United – Premier League, September 11th, 1999