A kop is a British colloquial term for terraced stands in stadiums. Liverpool F.C. is often associated with this word because of the stadium’s steep nature. It is called a kop as the area resembles a hill situated near Ladysmith, South Africa, which was the scene of the Battle of Spion Kop.
Origin of Kop
The year 1904 was the first recorded reference of the colloquial term kop. It is about a sports terrace in Woolwich Arsenal’s Manor Ground. During the game, a local news reporter observed how the silhouette of fans standing on top of the raised terrace looks similar to that of the soldiers standing at the top of the hill during the Battle of Spion Kop. It was in 1928 that the expression was officially recognized when an open-air levee in Anfield was extended with an additional cantilever roof and a capacity of 27,000.
Notable Kops of Football
In compliance with the safety protocol in the construction of stadiums, English clubs started redesigning their kop and made an all-seater stadium obligatory. Here are some of the famous kops of football that is note-worthy.
- Anfield – Liverpool
The Anfield kop was built in 1906 and was one of the most famous terraces in the world of football. The capacity of this stadium can hold almost 30,000 people. In 1975, the capacity was reduced to 22,000 for safety measures.
- Hillsborough – Sheffield
Previously known as the East Bank, this kop is considered one of the finest sights in English football. The stadium has no roof but has a massive slope, with its triangular appearance, from one end to the other. It used to hold 22,500 people but was then reduced to 11,200 after the all-seater restrictions were imposed.
- Windsor Park – Linfield
Home to Linfield of the Irish Premier League, the kop of Windsor Park is considered as the best venue for the national team of Northern Ireland. Located in South Belfast, it sits on the west end of the area and can hold up to 20,000 people. This stadium was an open terrace until the 1990s when a roof was constructed.