Allez, The Truth, Sami: 20 years of Liverpool’s Kop mosaics

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Anfield, and the Kop in particular, is famous for noisy, colourful displays—and they become even more poignant and meaningful when accompanied by a mosaic.

It’s perhaps one of the times when real value comes in having a vantage point of the Kop, rather than being in it: a look behind the goal to the fans, all arms raised in unison, bearing thousands of cards which together display a message, a picture, a memory.

Several years ago, This Is Anfield spoke with the creator and organiser of the very first mosaics, Andrew Knott, about the fascinating process of getting them started and, eventually, into the stadium.

The first one at Anfield was in 1996; since the turn of the century there have been plenty more which graced the ground—and here are the finest of them.

 

Paisley – Roma – 2001

roma-2001

Soon after the new Millenium came along, a Bob Paisley flag night welcomed Italian side Roma to Merseyside.

 

Houllier – United – 2001

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, November 4, 2001: Liverpool's supporters on the Spion Kop pay tribute to manager Gerard Houllier with a mosaic before the Premiership match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Having been taken ill during a match, the Kop paid tribute and showed support to manager Gerard Houllier when rivals United came to town…

 

Houllier – Roma – 2002

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, March 19, 2002: Liverpool fans on the Spion Kop spell out Allez before the UEFA Champions League Group B match against AS Roma match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

…and when Houllier returned, his presence and the incredible atmosphere helped send the Reds through in the Champions League at the expense of Roma.

 

Houllier – Newcastle – 2004

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND: Saturday, May 15, 2004: Liverpool fans make a mosaic on the Spion Kop before the final Premiership game of the season at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The final game of the French manager’s tenure saw him given a fond farewell, with Rafa Benitez taking charge after this last game of the season in 03/04 against Newcastle.

 

Amicizia – Juventus – 2005

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - TUESDAY APRIL 5th 2005: The Liverpool fans on the Spion Kop hold a mosaic saying "Friendship" in Italian before the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool and Juventus at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Back in Europe and against Juventus for the first time since the fateful day at Heysel, Reds reached out in friendship and memory to our Italian opponents.

 

Truth – Arsenal – 2007

Liverpool, England - Saturday, January 6, 2007: Liverpool fans on the famous Spion Kop hold up a mosaic reading 'The Truth' for six minutes to remember the 96 supporters who dies at the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 before the FA Cup 3rd Round match against Arsenal at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The TV cameras infamously tried to ignore it, but Liverpool fans got the message across that the fight for justice would be ongoing.

 

Shields – West Ham – 2008

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, December 1, 2008: Liverpool's supporters on the Spion Kop show their support for Michael Shields, the Liverpool fan imprisoned in 2005 for a crime he did not commit before the Premiership match against West Ham United at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Imprisoned fan Michael Shields was given support when West Ham came to Anfield, with the fan accused of a crime in Bulgaria he maintained he did not commit.

 

Kennedy – Arsenal – 2009

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, April 21, 2009: Liverpool's supporters on the Spion Kop display a mosaic showing Ray Kennedy's white Liverpool number 5, and the Arsenal supporters in the Lower Anfield Road end display his blue Arsenal number 10 to raise awareness of Liverpool fan Karl Coppack's Ray of Hope appeal, which has collected over £40,000 for Kennedy, who suffers from Parkinson's disease; before the Premiership match at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The No. 5 was displayed, Ray Kennedy’s shirt number, when the Reds took on the winger’s old club Arsenal to raise awareness for the Ray of Hope appeal. The match itself was a 4-4 classic.

 

Hyypia – Tottenham – 2009

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 24, 2009: Liverpool supporters on the Spion Kop display a mosaic in honor on Sami Hyypia's decade of service to the club before the Premiership match at Anfield. (Photo by: David Tickle/Propaganda)

After a decade of loyal service, the Kop paid tribute to former captain Sami Hyypia on his final appearance for the club against Spurs.

The big Finn played 464 games for Liverpool.

 

Shankly – Wigan – 2009

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 16, 2009: Liverpool's supporters on the Spion Kop create a mosaic reading 'SHANKS THE LEGEND" to mark the 50th anniversary of manager Bill Shankly's arrival at the club; before the Premiership match against Wigan Athletic at Anfield. (Photo by: David Tickle/Propaganda)

On the 50th anniversary of Bill Shankly’s arrival at Liverpool, a Kop mosaic remembered the most important manager in the club’s history.

 

Justice – Norwich – 2011

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 22, 2011: Liverpool supporters on the famous Spion Kop hold up a mosaic reading JFT96 calling for Justice for the 96 before the Premiership match against Norwich City at Anfield. The fans are backing a campaign for the families of the 96 victims of the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster in 1989 who have waited over 22 years for Justice. (Pic by Vegard Grott/Propaganda)

Continuing to back the campaign for the families of the Hillsborough victims, the home fans held aloft this mosaic demanding justice.

 

Truth – United – 2012

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, September 23, 2012: Liverpool supporters form a mosaic on the Anfield Road and Centenary Stands calling for Justice for the 96 victims of the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster before the Premiership match against Manchester United at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Almost a year later, an enquiry had finally revealed the truth that Liverpool fans were not to blame for the disaster.

Tributes were paid in the build-up to an emotional game against Manchester United, including this mosaic.

 

Carragher – QPR – 2013

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 19, 2013: Liverpool supporters on the Spion Kop hold up a mosaic 'JC 23' and players form a guard of honour on the pitch for captain Jamie Carragher who made his 737th and final appearance for the Reds during the final Premiership match against Queens Park Rangers of the 2012/13 season at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jamie Carragher rattled the post from distance with what was almost the best shot of his entire career—in his very final Anfield appearance.

He played 737 times for the Reds, with this game against QPR being the last.

 

Shankly – United – 2013

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, September 1, 2013: Liverpool supporters on the Spion Kop pay tribute to manager Bill Shankly with a mosaic to celebrate his 100th birthday before the Premiership match against Manchester United at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Another game against United and another mosaic—this time marking what would have been the 100th birthday of the great Bill Shankly.

 

Justice – Man City – 2014

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 13, 2014: The supporters on the Spion Kop make a mosaic toremember the 96 victims of the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster on the 25th Anniversary before the Premiership match against Manchester City at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With the Reds in action in the days approaching the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, Anfield once again remembered the fallen and the families.

 

Five times – Ludogorets – 2015

A return to the European elite and the Champions League saw our five European Cups proudly displayed for Ludogorets and the world to see.

 

Gerrard – Crystal Palace 2015

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 16, 2015: Liverpool supporters on the Spion Kop form a mosaic S8G in tribute for captain Steven Gerrard on his last game at Anfield during the Premier League match against Crystal Palace. (Pic by Lexie Lin/Propaganda)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 16, 2015: Liverpool supporters' mosaic 'Captain' for Steven Gerrard before the Premier League match against Crystal Palace at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Another farewell appearance, this time with maybe our greatest-ever captain departing Anfield.

Steven Gerrard is an icon to many, and though the team couldn’t give him the parting gift of a win, the mosaic around the ground displayed the thanks and admiration of all.

 

Family – Villarreal – 2016

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, May 5, 2016: Liverpool supporters mosaic "96 The Greatest... Football Family" before the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final 2nd Leg match against Villarreal CF at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, May 5, 2016: Liverpool supporters' mosaic on the Spion Kop "Football Family" before the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final 2nd Leg match against Villarreal CF at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The verdicts from the Hillsborough inquests had been passed down before this game and Villarreal were given an almighty fright by the atmosphere.

An emotional win sent Liverpool into the Europa League final.

 

Hillsborough – Bournemouth – 2017

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, April 5, 2017: Liverpool supporters stand for a minute's applause to remember the victims of the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster, with the Spion Kop forming a 96 mosaic, before the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

As the 28th anniversary approached, Anfield paid tribute ahead of the league encounter against Bournemouth.

 

Moran – Everton – 2017

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 1, 2017: Liverpool supporters' mosaic tribute to Ronnie Moran "Bugsy" on the Spion Kop shown on a television monitor before the FA Premier League match, the 228th Merseyside Derby, against Everton at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 1, 2017: Liverpool supporters' mosaic tribute to Ronnie Moran "Bugsy" on the Spion Kop before the FA Premier League match, the 228th Merseyside Derby, against Everton at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

One of Liverpool’s greatest-ever servants, Ronnie Moran, was paid tribute ahead of the Merseyside derby.

A player, caretaker manager and influential backroom staff member for 49 years, Moran had passed away the week previous at the age of 83.

 

125th birthday – Burnley – 2017

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 16, 2017: Supporters form a mosaic on the Centenary and Spion Kop stands to mark the 125th Anniversary of Liverpool Football Club before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Burnley at Anfield. (Pic by Peter Powell/Propaganda)

125 years of Liverpool Football Club was marked ahead of the Premier LEague game against Burnley in September 2017.

 

30 years – Chelsea – 2019

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 14, 2019: Liverpool supporters form a mosaic to remember 30 years since the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With the 30th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster approaching, Liverpool fans marked the occasion was another poignant mosaic and atmosphere.

 

Paisley – Crystal Palace – 2019

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 19, 2019: Supporters on the Spion Kop form a mosaic “Paisley 100” to celebrate 100 years since the birth of the club’s most successful manager Bob Paisley before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

On what would have been Bob Paisley’s 100th birthday, the stadium remembered the manager who won three European Cups.

 

Hillsborough – Everton – 2019

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 4, 2019: Liverpool supporters mosaic tribute to the 96 victims of the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 234th Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A Merseyside derby and a tribute to the victims of the Hillsborough disaster, with both clubs coming together to continue their support and fight for justice.

This came after the police match commander was acquitted of criminal charges in a retrial.

 

Six times – Norwich – 2019

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Friday, August 9, 2019: Liverpool supporters form a mosaic of a European Cup before the opening FA Premier League match of the season between Liverpool FC and Norwich City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

And finally, earlier this season, Liverpool returned to domestic action as Champions of Europe once more.

Norwich were the visitors and Jurgen Klopp‘s team were the best on the planet—and began their journey to the top of the Premier League table, where we remain today, waiting to complete that particular journey in 2019/20—and you can only imagine that another mosaic will, when fans are eventually allowed inside stadiums, follow to recognise that accomplishment, too.

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