Last Sunday morning during the Liverpool-Arsenal 3rd Round FA Cup tie at Anfield, you would have noted that the opening 6 minutes of the tie was played against a backdrop of fans sitting on the Kop terrace holding up a mosaic spelling 'The Truth'. To those of you who are absolutely clueless about it, do not fret, I will explain.
On 15th April 1989, thousands of the travelling Kop visited Hillsborough stadium for the Semi-Final FA Cup tie between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. 96 did not return.
So, last Sunday, singing their hearts out, and chanting incessantly, ‘Justice for the 96’, the Liverpool supporters were appealing for the justice they felt for those who lost their lives during the Hillsborough tragedy, but never received any. The inspiration for the idea came from the organisers of the newly launched “Reclaim The Kop” or RTK for short, campaign.
You see, part of Liverpool FC’s uniqueness is its famous Spion Kop, which is steeped in history and tradition. For the past few years, it was noted that there was a decline in the high standards of support at Anfield. Alarmed by this the fans decided to form an action group in a bid to help re-create the famous Anfield atmosphere of old by reminding the latest custodian and younger fans of some of the Kop’s basic principles.
With the campaign steadily gathering pace, the first ever Kop Charter was drawn -up and on - 1 January 2007 – it was officially declared that the campaign to 'Reclaim The Kop', well and truly open. To have a better look at the Kop Charter, go here. Yes, even you Man Yoo fags can go and have a look.
The call for justice for the families of those who died is under Charter #6.
We may have lost the tie to 3 soft goals as our defence went to sleep on each occasion but as I’ve mentioned before; the Kop is unique. It is one-off. We innovate, and the other supporters follow. If there is one thing that sets us apart as fans, it’s this battle-cry and ritual, our hymn of triumph, and occasional defiance of pain. It is our anthem; You’ll Never Walk Alone.
3-1 down in a cup tie, with barely a few minutes left on the clock, we continued to proudly sing, we sang it slowly & loudly and with heartfelt emotion, right to the end, scarves held high.
I am proud to call myself a Liverpool supporter for the last 21 years.