NewsThe story behind a special new banner on the Kop
Phil Thompson beamed with pride as he spotted the Kop's latest banner.
The legendary former captain was recording with LFCTV prior to Liverpool’s clash with Norwich City earlier this month when his attention was grabbed.
At pitchside, held aloft by supporters, stood a towering tribute to Thompson, the late Gerard Houllier and their wonderful achievements of the 2000-01 campaign.
With five gleaming trophies, all secured in the space of 12 unforgettable months, displayed in front of them, the much-loved duo smile with delight in the image.
Together they led the Reds to an unprecedented cup treble – League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup – that season, before going on to capture the Charity Shield and European Super Cup later in 2001.
To honour their accomplishments, the new banner was commissioned and paid for by lifelong fan and Spirit of Shankly member Keith Sorrell, who sadly passed away last year.
Spion Kop 1906, the supporters group who devise and organise stunning flag displays prior to each Anfield fixture, then designed and arranged for the tribute to be produced.
“Thommo was absolutely chuffed when he saw it,” explains season ticket holder John Nicolson, who was one of a party of fans who displayed the banner before the clash with Norwich.
“His face just lit up. As soon as he could, he put down his microphone and made a beeline for the lads who were holding it up. He stayed for photographs right at the front of the Kop and then he signed the flag.
“After he’d finished recording final bits for LFCTV, he came back to learn more about the banner. He knew Keith but had no idea he’d been working on the tribute, and so that just added to the emotion of the moment.”
The banner will now be stored at Anfield, ready to play its part in future Kop displays.
It will be a fitting salute to Thompson and Houllier, to the Reds of the famous treble season, and forever a poignant nod to Keith, the Kopite who chose to commemorate such success.