Today is the 20th anniversary of the last time supporters stood on the world's most famous terrace and to mark the occasion, LFC TV's Mark Platt recalls the magical history of Anfield's Spion Kop...
With attendances at Anfield booming during the 1905-06 Championship-winning campaign, the Liverpool board, led by chairman John Houlding and secretary John McKenna, decided to demolish what was known as the Oakfield Road Embankment or Walton Breck Road End and replace it with a huge bank of rubble and cinders that was to become known as the Spion Kop.
It consisted of 132 tiers of steps and could accommodate approximately 20,000 spectators.
It was the then Sports Editor of the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo, Ernest Edwards, who christened the newly constructed terrace the Spion Kop. It was named after the hill in South Africa where many young soldiers from Liverpool had lost their lives during the Boer War in 1900. On what date it officially became known as the Kop, remains unknown although it was sometime between 1906 and 1928.
The correct pronunciation is 'Spee-on Kop'.
Liverpool was not the first club to be able to boast a Kop - that honour is believed to belong to Woolwich Arsenal - but there's no doubting which one became the most famous.
The first game to be played in front of the Kop took place on September 1, 1906. The city was basking in the midst of a heatwave and temperatures reached 94 degrees as Joe Hewitt netted the first goal.
In the Kemlyn Road corner of the Kop stands a flag-pole which was once the topmast of the Great Eastern ship. It had been broken up in Rock Ferry and floated across the Mersey to Liverpool where it was then hauled up Everton Valley by a team of four horses and put in place at Anfield.
Because the new Kop was an open terrace, the view from the back of the terrace was reportedly a sight to behold, especially in the summer when you could see for miles across the city. In the winter, however, it hardly made for comfortable viewing conditions as the wind and rain swept in from the Mersey.
In 1928, the Liverpool directors decided to reward the loyalty of those who stood on the Kop in all weathers by authorising the construction of a roof over the terrace. The cantilever roof measured 45,000 square foot. With a height of 125 feet and a slope measuring 425x131 feet, the Anfield Kop became the largest covered terrace in Europe.
The new roofed structure was officially opened by Football League President and former Anfield visionary John McKenna on August 25 and the Reds marked the occasion with a 3-0 defeat of Bury.
It was reported around this time that the Kop could accommodate up to 37,000 spectators but that figure was never made official and seemed highly unlikely. The Kop was regularly crammed to capacity but never more so than in 1952 when Anfield's all-time record attendance of 61,905 was set for a FA Cup fourth-round tie against Wolves.
During the 1930s, the Kop played host to various sporting events other than football. It was not uncommon for championship boxing bouts to be held at Anfield and in 1934 local favourite Nel Tarleton famously fought Freddie Miller for the World Featherweight title. Kopites were also treated to thrilling tennis contest between Fred Perry and Bill Tilden, while the Liverpool Marathon often concluded with a final lap in front of the imposing terrace.
It was not until the 1960s that singing became a popular pastime of those who stood on the Kop but, ignited by the passion of Bill Shankly, it quickly became renowned as the most vocal terrace in football. Kopites would belt out the hit Beatles records of the time and, of course, Gerry Marsden's 'You'll Never Walk Alone, which they adopted as their official anthem.
As televised football became more popular during the Sixties, the Kop found itself the star attraction on more than one occasion. In 1964, it was the subject of BBC Panorama documentary, while the same year, the first ever Match of the Day was broadcast against the backdrop of the swaying terrace. In 1968, the first colour 'Match of the Day' to be shown on our TV screens also featured the Kop.
The 1964-65 season saw the Kop witness continental competition for the first time and a memorable run in the European Cup culminated in a famous first leg semi-final victory over Inter Milan that is regarded by older Liverpudlians as the greatest night ever on the legendary terrace.
Fast forward 12 years and the next generation of Reds fans experienced what they believed to be the Kop's finest moment as St Etienne were dramatically beaten in the European Cup quarter-final.
The 1970s saw the Kop become a much more colourful place as various flags and banners, either home made or gathered while following the team across Europe, were fervently displayed with increasing regularity.
The Kop has fallen silent on many occasions in its long and illustrious history but there have been few more poignant occasions than the one in 1981 when its inhabitants paid their respects to the late, great, Bill Shankly prior to the game against Swansea.
During the summer of 1987 a Victorian sewer collapsed under the Kop and delayed the eagerly anticipated debuts of new signings John Barnes and Peter Beardsley.
In the aftermath of the Hillsborough tragedy, the Kop became the centre-piece of what was an Anfield shrine to the 96 victims. The empty terrace had an eerie feel about it in the dark days following the disaster but was said to have never looked more beautiful.
In response to the tragedy, fences were immediately removed from the front of the Kop and to comply with the Taylor Report, the terrace was finally demolished in 1994.
The last game in front of the standing Kop took place on April 30, 1994. Norwich City were the visitors and Jeremy Goss scored the only goal of the game but that failed to dampen the carnival atmosphere on what a highly emotional occasion.
The Kop has always been regarded as one of the most sporting football terraces and this was never more evident than on the last day of the 1988-89 season when Arsenal pipped Liverpool to the league title in dramatic fashion. Despite the obvious disappointment felt by Kopites, they generously stayed behind to applaud the victorious Gunners in scenes reminiscent of the time Leeds won the title at Anfield in the Sixties. Blackburn, in the 1990s, were also afforded similar hospitality upon being crowned champions in front of the Kop.
The last Liverpool player to score in front of the standing Kop was former Reds reserve Ashley Neal. The last first team player to do so was Julian Dicks, while the last fan was fez-wearing John Garner of Halewood.
An impressive new all-seater grandstand rose from the ashes of the demolished terrace and, in a bid to generate the raucous atmosphere of old, fans organised a succession of successful Flag night's and mosaics.
In 1999, the outside of the Kop was given a new look when the Paisley Gateway was unveiled in honour of Liverpool's most successful manager.
The most impressive occasion the new seated Kop has experienced is without doubt the night Chelsea were frightened into submission by a deafening wall of sound in the 2005 Champions League semi-final. The numbers may not have been as great as in the halcyon days of the 1960s and 1970s, but even the old-timers among the crowd that night admitted the Kop had never been louder.