Fanzines - voice of the ordinary supporter

We highlight Liverpool 'zine 'Through The Wind and Rain' - always a staunch supporter of the HJC and a voice that has kept alive and published articles on Hillsborough throuout the last 12 years. You can read all of their back issue articles about Hillsborough here

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Through the Wind and Rain
PO Box 23
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Through the Wind and the Rain Fanzine Archives

Issue 22 & 24 - Last Days of The Kop

Pride And Joy-End Of The Kop

It was something I'd longed for ever since I first visited Anfield and the Kemlyn in 1982. I knew that I wouldn't be a 'real' Liverpool supporter until I'd done it. I knew it would only be a matter of time. but oh the wait!

Then, on Saturday 1st November1986 my dad toldme whatwantedtohear. Wewereleaving the seats behind and going to stand on the Kop. My mind filled with excited and nervous anticipation, now the day I'd so often dreamed of was here. My memories of the day are blurred, but the sense of pride and fulfilment remain crystal clear to this day- It was the same way I felt every time I stood there for the next 7 odd years. It was evident on every other Kopite's face. We knew this place was the best in ffic world to stand on.

For the record, a classy Liverpool outplayed (of all teams)) Norwich;we stuffed them 6-2. Celebrating6 onmy first bustling Kop experience was beyond dream. Funny how times change. That day we knew we'd win. Defeat at home in front of the proud KOP was unthinkable. Against the same ~ last April, 3 points - never mind 6 goals seemed just as unlikely once the game began The team in that historic last game were shamefull but that's another issue. This article is about a much greater force; the fans, and the pride we at least feel for the Liver bird on our chest and the loss of our "home".

I would never say we took success for granted, but there was 'only' 37.000 for that game in 1986. Last April a further 7,000 Red mem and women descended on Anfield. Our dignity had been assailed so many times in the last few seasons, but we were there on the last day, still convinced that Liverpool were best and that the Kop would not fall without paying our respects. There had been so many great afternoons and evenigs spent there; all far too special and golden to separate just a few.

I arrived at 12.30 on a sunny afternoon, and wasn't surprised to see the whole area buzzing. I wanted this day to last forever. I walked with immense pride round the ground - horns beeping- fancy dress. BRILLIANT flags - all epitomising how much we wanted the world to see we supported LFC and came from the Kop. You couldn't separate the two; LFC + KOP =GREATNESS.

Back in '86 1 qued for what seemed like an eternity to get in. The queue was the same in '94 - but this was an all-ticket game! It didn't matter; we all wanted to savour every second we could. I waited in 'Kemlyn Road', thinking how it was in the old days. The few houses that were left in the days before executive boxes. Times had changed, not least for the team itself but we hadn't.

We still stood and waited ready to play our part. Once inside, the warmth and good humour was stillthere. All four previous flag days had been memorable in their own way. but this day's build-up was unique- Our voices took over. As all those great players came onto the pitch, I'm sure I never heard the Kop so vocal. The reception Kenny got was simply unforgettable. I wish we had taken up a chant of "thank you' for all of them. 'Youll Never Walk Alone' was sung too much, I feel, playing up to the tacky and insincere media coverage the event inevitably received. Having said that, it is OUR song and the first rendition of the afternoon almost moved me to tears. Holding up my scarf, immersed in the collective emotion of our final stand, wonderful red smoke in the air, stands packed and Dalglish. Liddell, Callagher, Stubbins on the pitch! I was in heaven. Those few minutes will live with me forever. but so will a hundred other Kop memories.

The 90 minutes of actual football flew by, like everything else you want to last. The loud bobbing chants of 'we all live in a red'n'white Kop' were fantastic - thanks a million to the drummer who kept the beat so well. The poor team performance made me feel shallow. but ironically that feeling evaporated when the players left the pitch. My anger at their ineptitude passed when they returned to say farewell. looking down at the ageing face of Ronnie Moran, a sheepish Roy Evans, the elder players who once served us so well and the younger players who are our future. I just wanted to embrace all.collectivly, as the Kop, we did so. Despite their recent failures, they all wore red shirts That was enough- They were one of us.

I stayed until -5.30, then started the lonely walk to the exit at the back. I sat down at the top, lookng back for5 thoughtful minutes. People 'were trying to chip away bits Of the Kop to take away, but I was determined to take away the whole Kop with me in my heart. Things have never been the same since 1989 and never will be. So many lost; also the many disappointments, departures. let-downs and ill-conceived changes - none more so as the end of the Kop. I took one last look and walked down the stairway before some insensitive copper could manhandle me and tell me to get out. My head was full of happy joyous memories, but also a terrible emptiness because of what I was leaving behind.

As long as we stick to our promise on that afternoon. the team will never walk alone and we'll keep Our reputation for having the best songs and being the only truly proffessional supporters. While the team may return to winning ways with our help, one thing that won't return is the chance to celebrate their success on our beloved KOP. On Saurday April 30th, 1994, Anfield lost it's pride and joy.

Dean Burgess

Untitled(End Of Kop)

Even on April 30th, the knowledge thatI would never stand there again hadn't sunk in. It didn't hit home untilI took my temporary seat in the Anny Road end for the Arsenal game. I took one look at the other end and it came to me in that one instant. I was so pissed off. I started thinking about the reasons why it had been done - not the excuses, the real reasons.

One of the browbeating excuses was the wishes of the bereaved Hillsborough families. I don't want to be insensitive, and I know this is all after the horse has well and truly bolted, but if I had died on that day I would look down on how everything was handled. I would see the destruction of all terraces, and I would be SO INSULTED. It was like saying "the reason those people died was because they were standing up so we'll make everyone sit down to make it safer for everyone else in the future". The Kop coming down represents victory for all the individuals who were really to blame for what happened. Now, whenever I look at where the Kop used to be, they are the bastards I think of. EVERY time.

The atmosphere was great for the Arsenal match, but that was due mainly to relocated Kopites in defiant mood on the first home game of the season. I've heard nothing like it since, there's hardly been a peep out of the Kop all season (pre- Wimbledon, this - ed) I went in this new 'Kop' for the Burnley game, to discover that the seats slope back more gently than the Anny; you have to go further back to get a decent view. Of course you can no longer do that - you sit where the ticket number tells you to sit. It was crap. Again, I thought of those bastards, and more than anything else I felt more offended than ever that I no longer had a choice. I do think things will improve when the stand is finished and we'll all be back in one end. I've been especially proud to call myself a Kopite over the last few seasons, where the team has had to overcome problems both internal and external. In fact, I think all Liverpool supporters deserve credit because attendances have actually improved. I thought the Kop had become complacent by the end of the '80s and actually feel that during the last 3 years the vocal support had improved as Liverpool had come up against it.

The atmospheres in a number ofgames were especially superb against; Auxerre '91 (eventhe Kemlyn were brilliant - I spoke to a Sunderland fan at that game and he said it was the best performance ever from a crowd!), Genoa '92 (despite losing, and always get a lump in my throat exchanging team chants!), United '92 (and we know why that was!), Spurs May '93 (despite the title's destination), United '94, the last derby and the last stand against Norwich.

I'm sorry to say that against Newcastle Utd it did take the Geordies singing 'You'll Never Walk Alone' to rouse the Kop - sorry, Mr Loyal Kopite! (#23). I had made a special effort to get there on that day as I had the flu. I don't think I've ever been so disappointed by a lack of effort from the Kop. I thought this was going to be the last 'genuine' good atmosphere. By that time I think everyone was so dispirited about players' attitudes and the whole legacy of the Souness reign that nobody could be bothered rising to the occasion. It's no excuse though. Try telling ihat to the Newcastle fans who have kept going over the last 25 years! I suppose it's those who keep going through all the crap that deserve credit. It's so easy to support a winning team. That's why, on the whole, I've felt even more proud to be a Kopite over the last three seasons.

Ian Runcorn