|The Kop (standard:humor, 1417 words)|
|Author: scouser||Added: Feb 18 2003||Views/Reads: 2039/1200||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Watching football from the terrace of the famous KOP at Anfield, Liverpool Football Club|
The Kop Every boy's dream is to mix with the men, and I was no different. After spending my first five years supporting my beloved Liverpool from the confines of the ‘Boy's Pen' the time had arrived for me to be liberated. No more hanging from the wire mesh grill like a monkey in the back corner of the Kop, I wanted to be in amongst it, at the front line, bayonet attached. If I was to be part of the ‘Red Army' I had to be prepared to put my life on the line, go where no boy has gone before, yes become a Kopite. I knew all the songs, I had travelled to Main Road (well almost) and I was aware of all the rituals associated with being a member of the Kop. For example, don't place yourself in front of a barrier, position yourself close to the steps in anticipation of crowd surges etc etc. Unfortunately I made one poor decision, I decided I would invite a girl I was trying to impress (well I was 15) to come along with me. I've since learned that football is football and girls are girls and both deserve to be treated with respect and each should have my undivided attention. Still, having made the arrangements I met my date Geri outside the Arkles, and she was dressed to kill Liverpool scarf and knitted bobble hat. It was quite obvious she'd done this before. I just had my scarf my mum knitted for me. The only problem with it was it never went red, white, red white mine went red white, white, white, red, white, white and more bloody white and was about six foot long. I don't think she knew how to cast off! As well as being a little light on red wool her spelling wasn't the best lets face it Ian St Jun and Roger Bunt never played for Liverpool, still the thought was there. As we headed towards the ground Geri informed me she had never been in the Kop before, she usually watched from the paddock with her Dad. But I assured her that everything would be fine and that there is nowhere on the planet better to watch the Red's from (obviously not letting on I was an escapee from the Pen). The place was buzzing as we approached the ground people were queuing at every entrance, it was quite obvious that the game was going to be a sellout. We joined one of the queues for the Kop, and I bought a ‘Pink' from the paper man. “What do you want a paper for, you won't be able to read it in there?” She said not understanding the importance of having your own copy of the Echo at matches, it's a ritual she'll come to understand soon enough. We amused ourselves over the next couple of hours waiting for the gates to open by listening to the religious fanatics with their sandwich boards draped over their shoulders promising ‘hell and damnation' to the thousands of sinners unless they repent. “The lord is coming to Liverpool” one screamed “what will you sinners do then?” he asked, and from out of the crowd came the usual response “move St John to the wing you tosser”. It was nearing one o'clock and the gates were being opened around the ground. The place was swarming with Spurs supporters giving it the old ‘knees up mother Brown', “We'll see who's got a lovely bunch of coconuts at twenty to five” I said as we scrambled through the turnstile and climbed the steps up to the Kop. We stood at the top of Kop for a few moments soaking up the atmosphere and I could see the look of disbelief on Geri's face as she glanced around the ground, I knew what she was feeling. It still lives with me to this day. It doesn't matter how many times you visit Anfield that moment of entry from the Kop literally takes your breath away. It seems like the whole population of the City of Liverpool is crammed into the ground, a sea of red and white bodies swaying and chanting as one, it's an incredible feeling of belonging. As we made our way through the crowd to our position behind the goal I felt like a soldier joining his comrades at the front line ready to do battle. It was now a quarter to three and we were eagerly awaiting the enemy when out of the tunnel the mighty reds appeared, the crowd exploded with delight into a deafening roar as big Ron Yeats led the team towards the Kop end. Geri, and myself were swept along in a surge of bodies down the Kop steps as people clambered to get a closer view of their idols. The adrenaline was pumping as we staggered back up the steps to our original positions, then out came the enemy to a crescendo of boo's, the toss was made, first blood to the reds as Big Ron won and decided to defend the Kop, the battle had begun. We spent the next forty-five minutes ‘oohing' and ‘ahhing' as the reds stormed down the pitch raining crosses into the Tottenham goalmouth only to be thwarted by the agility of Pat Jennings and the woodwork. Half time had arrived and the score was 0-0, but the crowd was optimistic, after all we would be attacking the Kop end in the second half and everyone knows that's worth at least one goal. The usual analysis of the game was being discussed during the break, which usually centred on whether the referee's parents were married or not. When Geri asked, “how do you go Click here to read the rest of this story (37 more lines)
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