Spion Kop (stadiums)
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The first recorded reference to a sports terrace as "Kop" related to Woolwich Arsenal's Manor Ground in 1904. A local newsman likened the silhouette of fans standing on a newly raised bank of earth to soldiers standing atop the hill at the Battle of Spion Kop. Two years later in 1906, Liverpool Echo sports editor Ernest Edwards noted of a new open-air embankment at Anfield: "This huge wall of earth has been termed 'Spion Kop', and no doubt this apt name will always be used in future in referring to this spot". The use of the name was given formal recognition in 1928 when it was extended to a 27,000 capacity and a cantilever roof was added. Many other English football clubs and some rugby league clubs (such as Wigan's former home Central Park) applied the same name to stands in later years.
Liverpool's Spion Kop (capacity 27,000 though crowds of 30,000+ are recorded) was redesigned in 1994 (completed) to comply with requirements of the Taylor Report, which made all-seater stadiums obligatory in the highest two divisions of English football. A new Spion Kop was built in its place with 12,390 seats, which was the largest single tier stand in the country until the opening of the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The South Stand of the new stadium has 17,500 seats and has an incline of 34 degrees, making it one of the steepest stands in the country.
There is much debate about what type of stand constitutes a Kop. The size and location of the stand in the stadium varies; most are located behind the goal and are occupied by its club's most vocal supporters. It is usually a single-tiered stand and was traditionally terraced. In England, safety regulations brought into effect after the 1989 Hillsborough disaster required many to be made all-seated. A Kop is not necessarily the largest stand in the stadium and does not have to have a particularly large capacity; for example, Chesterfield's former stadium, Saltergate, had a Kop with a capacity of only a few thousand.
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