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Top facts about Anfield, The Original Keeper of the Renowned Kop Stand

Sat 29 January 2022 | 8:30

We are here to talk about the history and development of a long-standing arena with a capacity of more than 53 thousand people and the home to one of the best Premier League clubs of all time.

Anfield is a football stadium in Anfield, Liverpool, Merseyside, England, with a seating capacity of 53,394 people, making it the country's seventh-largest. Liverpool F.C. has called it home since its establishment in 1892. Everton played there from 1884 to 1891 before moving to Goodison Park due to a disagreement with the club president.

The Spion Kop, Main Stand, Sir Kenny Dalglish Stand, and Anfield Road End are the four stands in the stadium. In 1952, a match between Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers set a new attendance record of 61,905. As a result of the Taylor Report, which lowered the stadium's capacity, it was renovated to an all-seater stadium in 1994.

Former Liverpool managers Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley have gates named after them at the stadium. Outside the stadium, both managers have statues: Shankly's was unveiled in 1997 by the Kop Stand, and Paisley's was unveiled in 2020 by the Main Stand. Liverpool Lime Street railway station is 2 miles (3 kilometers) away from the stadium.

It was suggested in 2002 to replace the stadium with a new one in Stanley Park, but once Fenway Sports Group bought Liverpool F.C. in 2010, it became evident that this would not happen.

On December 8, 2014, work on an extension to the main stand began. This extension, one of Europe's largest single-stand all-seater structures, opened to the public on September 9, 2016, bringing the stadium's total capacity to 53,394. The Anfield Road Stand is being refurbished in order to increase the stadium's capacity to roughly 61,000 people. It is expected to be finished for the 2023–24 season.

Top facts about Anfield Worth Reading about

If you are interested in the history of this stadium, the first part of this article is for you. We start there and then we’ll talk about the records, the games it has hosted and etc.

Anfield History – The 1800s

The stadium is named after the Anfield area in Liverpool. The name comes from a blend of Old and Middle English words that mean "a field on a slope."

Since at least 1642, Anfield and its deviations have been connected with the area. The name was tied to the migration of Irish people into the developing metropolis in the 1850s and was associated with Annefield, outside New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland, according to some sources.

Anfield was founded in 1884 by John Orrell, a minor landowner, and friend of 

Everton

 Football Club member John Houlding. Everton, who had previously played at Priory Road, needed a new home due to the excessive noise generated by the spectators on match days.

In exchange for a small rent, Orrell lent the pitch to the club. Everton and Earlestown played the first match at the site on September 28, 1884, with Everton winning 5–0.

During Everton's time at the stadium, stands were built for some of the 8,000-plus fans who frequently attended matches, despite the fact that the stadium could house 20,000 people on occasion.

The ground, which hosted the British Home Championship match between England and

Ireland

in 1889, was regarded as an international arena at the time, one of the Top facts about Anfield.

Everton and Accrington F.C. played the first league match at Anfield on September 8, 1888. Everton immediately progressed as a squad, and in the 1890–91 season, they were Anfield's first league champions.

Discussions to buy the land at Anfield from Orrell turned into a feud between Houlding and the Everton F.C. committee over the club's management in 1892.

After Everton moved to Goodison Park, Houlding was left with an empty stadium and decided to start a new team to fill it, another one of the Top facts about Anfield.

The new club was known as

Liverpool F.C.

and Athletic Grounds Ltd, and the club's first match at Anfield was a friendly versus Rotherham Town on September 1, 1892, in front of 200 spectators.

Liverpool won by a score of 7–1. On September 9, 1893, Liverpool played Lincoln City in their first Football League encounter at Anfield.

In front of 5,000 fans, Liverpool triumphed 4–0. On the site of the current Main Stand, a new stand with a capacity of 3,000 spectators was built in 1895.

Anfield History – 1900 to 1982

The stand had a distinctive red and white gable, similar to the main stand at

Newcastle United

's home ground, St James' Park, and was designed by architect Archibald Leitch. In 1903, a new stand was built at the Anfield Road end, made of timber and corrugated iron.

A new stand was built along the Walton Breck Road after Liverpool won their second League championship in 1906. The Spion Kop was named by local journalist Ernest Edwards, who was the sports editor of the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo.

It was named after a renowned hill in South Africa where a local regiment sustained terrible losses during the Boer War in 1900, one of the

Top facts about Anfield.

As the British troops sought to conquer the vital hilltop, more than 300 men died, many of them from Liverpool. A stand was built along Kemlyn Road at the same time.

The ground remained almost unchanged until 1928 when the Kop was renovated and expanded to accommodate 30,000 standing spectators. A roof was also constructed. The Spion Kop was recreated in many stadiums around England.

The Kop at Anfield was the largest in the country at the time, holding more fans than several entire football grounds, another one of the interesting Top facts about Anfield.

The topmast of the SS Great Eastern, one of the first iron ships, was recovered from a shipbreaking yard in Rock Ferry and brought up to Everton Valley by a group of horses to be placed alongside the new Kop the following year. It's still there, acting as a flag pole.

Floodlights were installed in 1957 for a total cost of £12,000. They were turned on for the first time on October 30 for a match against Everton to commemorate the Liverpool County Football Association's 75th anniversary.

The original Kemlyn Road stand was demolished in 1963 and replaced with a £350,000 cantilevered stand that could seat 6,700 people. Two years later, at the Anfield Road end, changes were made to provide a bigger covered standing space with refreshments beneath the structure.

The original Main Stand was substantially dismantled and extended backwards with a new roof in 1973, which was the most significant redevelopment. The concrete pylon floodlights were removed at the same time, and new lights were placed along the rooflines of the Kemlyn Road and Main Stands.

The Duke of Kent officially launched the new stand on March 10, 1973. The paddock in front of the Main Stand was converted to seating in the 1980s, while seats were placed at the Anfield Road end in 1982.

The Shankly Gates were erected in 1982 as a memorial to former manager

Bill Shankly

; on August 26, 1982, his widow Nessie unlocked them for the first time.

The words You'll Never Walk Alone, the title of the famous song by Gerry and the Pacemakers adopted by Liverpool fans as the club's anthem during Shankly's time as manager, are written across the Shankly Gates, one of the Top facts about Anfield.

Anfield History – The Late 1900s to Present Time

In 1987, the Kemlyn Road stand was upgraded with colored seats and a police station. The Taylor Report suggested that all stadiums in the country be converted to all-seater stadiums by May 1994, following the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, when police mishandling resulted in overcrowding and the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans.

In 1992, a second tier was constructed to the Kemlyn Road stand, making it a double-decker. Executive boxes and function suites, as well as 11,000 seats, were featured.

Plans to expand the stand had been made earlier, with the club purchasing houses on Kemlyn Road in the 1970s and 1980s, but were put on hold until 1990 due to the refusal of two sisters, Joan and Nora Mason, to sell their home, one of the

Top facts about Anfield

.

The expansion plans were put into effect after the club secured an agreement with the sisters in 1990. On September 1, 1992, UEFA president Lennart Johansson officially opened the stand, which was renamed the Centenary Stand.

After the Taylor Report's recommendations, the Kop was rebuilt in 1994 and became all-seated; it is still a single tier, and the capacity has been decreased to 12,390.

On December 4, 1997, a bronze statue of Bill Shankly was installed in front of the Kop at the visitors' center.

The statue features Shankly with a fan's scarf around his neck, in a common position he took when receiving acclaim from supporters, standing over 8 feet (2.4 m) tall. 

The words "Bill Shankly - He Made The People Happy" are engraved on the statue. Before being relocated close to 96 Avenue in front of the renovated main stand in 2016, the Hillsborough memorial was located alongside the Shankly Gates.

Flowers and tributes to the 96 persons who perished as a result of the disaster in 1989 are always placed on the memorial.

A new two-tier Anfield Road end was opened in 1998. Since its redevelopment, the stand has had a number of issues; towards the start of the 1999–2000 season, a set of support poles and stanchions were added to provide the upper deck of the structure more stability.

Many supporters protested about the top tier moving during Ronnie Moran's testimonial match versus

Celtic

, another one of the Top facts about Anfield.

The executive seating section in the main stand was increased by two rows at the same time that the stanchions were installed, reducing the sitting capacity in the paddock.

A bronze statue of Bob Paisley was installed outside the Main Stand in Paisley Square on January 30, 2020. Standard Chartered, the club's primary sponsor, commissioned and gave the statue to commemorate the company's ten-year affiliation with the team.

The statue is 8 ft (2.4 m) tall and depicts an iconic image of the club's history, Paisley carrying future club captain Emlyn Hughes off the field during a match against Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield in April 1968.

Anfield Various Utilizations

Anfield has hosted a number of international matches, including three group games and a quarter-final during the UEFA Euro 1996 tournament. In 1889, England and Ireland played their first international match at Anfield.

The match ended in a 6–1 victory for England. In the early 1900s, Anfield hosted a number of England's international football matches, as well as the Welsh national team in the later part of that century.

Anfield has also hosted five FA Cup semi-finals, the last taking place in 1929. The most recent international match at Anfield was England's 2–1 win against

Uruguay

on March 1, 2006.

At Anfield, England has played two testimonial matches against Liverpool. The first came in 1983 when England faced Liverpool in a testimonial match for Phil Thompson.

After that, England returned in 1988 for Alan Hansen's testimonial.

Manchester United

, Liverpool's archrival, played their first home game of the 1971–72 season at Anfield after being banned from playing their first two home league games at Old Trafford due to a hooliganism incident, one of the Top facts about Anfield. United won 3–1 against Arsenal.

For the first time in November 2019, Anfield hosted a Women's Super League match, with a rivalry between Liverpool FC Women and local rivals Everton FC Women on the 6th matchday of the 2019–20 season.

The stadium has hosted five rugby league matches: the 1989 Charity Shield between Widnes and Wigan; the 1991 World Club Challenge between Wigan, the RFL Championship winners, and Penrith Panthers, the Australian NSWRL Premiership winners, with an attendance of 20,152; a 1997 St. Helens Super League home game against Castleford Tigers, with an attendance of 12,329; and the 2016 Rugby League Four Nations Final, with an attendance of 40,042.

After two test matches in 2016 and 2018, Anfield was chosen as the venue for the 2019 Magic Weekend. After previously selecting local derbies or competitive games, the matches for 2019 were chosen by the previous season's league standings.

“On behalf of the Super League clubs, we’re delighted to be taking the Dacia Magic Weekend to one of the most famous stadiums in the world,"  said Robert Elstone, Super League Chief Executive.

Many additional events have taken place at Anfield. Anfield was the finish line for the city marathon in the mid-twenties.

An annual race was held in Liverpool that began at St George's plateau in the city center and ended with a lap of Anfield.

During the interwar years, Anfield hosted a number of boxing contests, including a number of British boxing championships; on June 12, 1934, Nel Tarleton defeated Freddie Miller for the World Featherweight title. 

Professional tennis was played on the pitch at Anfield on boards. In an exhibition match, US Open champion Bill Tilden and Wimbledon champion Fred Perry thrilled the fans. The ground hosted an exhibition basketball game starring the Harlem Globetrotters in 1958.

Apart from football events, Anfield has hosted a variety of performers as well as evangelical preachers. Billy Graham, an American evangelist, preached at Anfield for a week in July 1984, drawing crowds of almost 30,000 each night.

On June 1, 2008, 36,000 people attended a concert at Anfield including The Zutons, Kaiser Chiefs, and Paul McCartney as part of Liverpool's 2008 European Capital of Culture celebrations.

Live concerts returned to Anfield in the summer of 2019, with performances by Take That, Bon Jovi, and Pink. Take That lead singer Gary Barlow, a Liverpool supporter, sought the help of guest vocalist Gerry Marsden to perform the club's hymn "You'll Never Walk Alone."

Another one of the

Top facts about Anfield

is that Elton John and The Eagles are among the artists scheduled to perform at the stadium in Summer 2022.

Anfield Records

The biggest crowd at Anfield was 61,905 for Liverpool's FA Cup fifth-round encounter against

Wolverhampton Wanderers

on February 2, 1952.

Anfield's lowest attendance was 1,000 for a match against Loughborough on December 7, 1895. The 2016–17 season had the greatest average attendance of 53,112 people.

During the seasons 1893–94, 1970–71, 1976–77, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1987–88, 2008–09, 2017–18, 2018–19, and 2019–20, Liverpool did not lose a game at Anfield.

Liverpool's longest home unbeaten streak was 85 games from January 1978 to January 1981, during which time the Reds scored 212 goals and conceded 35.

From April 2017 to January 2021, the team had its longest unbeaten home streak in the league, which lasted 68 games.

During the COVID-19 epidemic, Liverpool's worst losing streak at Anfield was six games in 2020–2021, with games played behind closed doors.

The longest winning streak in English top-flight history is 24 wins in a row at Anfield, one of the Top facts about Anfield. It was completed throughout the course of the 2018–19 and 2019–20 seasons.

Anfield Reconstructions

The purchase of Liverpool F.C. by Fenway Sports Group in October 2010 cast doubt on the club's plans to leave Anfield.

John W. Henry, the new club owner, announced in February 2011 that he preferred to stay at Anfield and expand the capacity. "The Kop is unrivaled," Henry said after seeing many games at Anfield. "It would be hard to replicate that feeling anywhere else."

After receiving a £25 million grant, Liverpool City Council revealed intentions to redevelop the Anfield area on October 15, 2012, with a housing association also planning to contribute.

The reconstruction of the Main Stand began in March 2016. Liverpool City Council designated Anfield as an Asset of Community Value on August 23, 2013.

On September 11th, current owner John W. Henry indicated that they had the funds to expand the stadium, but that they were waiting for the City Council to finish the acquisition of residences in the vicinity before committing to plans to extend the Main Stand and the Anfield Road end of the stadium.

In April 2014, Liverpool F.C. signed a legal deal to redevelop the Anfield area with Liverpool City Council and Your Housing Group.

This was viewed as a crucial step toward the stadium's renovation. The cost of the reconstruction was estimated to be around £260 million.

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source: SportMob

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