Spion Kop (stadia)

Spion Kop (or Kop for short) is the name for a number of terraces and stands at sports stadia; so named due to their steep nature, resembling a hill near Ladysmith, South Africa that was the scene of the Battle of Spion Kop in the Second Boer War.


"The Afrikaans name for the battle," writes Liverpool Daily Post columnist Mike Chapple, "is Spioenkop; spioen for spy or look out and kop meaning hill or outcropping."

The first recorded reference to a sports terrace as Kop was at Woolwich Arsenal's Manor Ground in 1904, when a local newsman likened the silhouette of fans standing on a newly raised bank of earth to soldiers standing atop 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 name was formally consummated in 1928 upon construction of a roof. It is thought to be the first terrace officially named Spion Kop. Many other English football clubs and some Rugby league clubs (such as Wigan's former home Central Park) followed suit and applied the same name to stands in later years.

Villa Park's old Holte End is historically the largest of all Kop ends closely followed by the old South Bank at Molineux, both once regularly holding crowds in excess of 30,000. By the mid 1980s Hillsborough's Kop had become the largest roofed terrace in Europe, with a capacity of around 25,000.


There is much conjecture about what type of stand constitutes a Kop. The size and location of the stand in the stadium varies, with most being located behind the goal and being occupied by its club's most vocal supporters. It is usually a single tiered stand and traditionally terraced. However, in England, safety regulations brought into effect after the 1989 Hillsborough disaster has required many to be made all seated. It is not necessarily the largest stand in the stadium and does not have to have a particularly large capacity; for example, Chesterfield's stadium the Recreation Ground has a Kop with a capacity of only a few thousand.


Ground Club Stand
Anfield Liverpool Spion Kop
Bloomfield Road Blackpool The North Stand
BMO Field Toronto FC South End
Boothferry Park Hull City AFC Kempton/East Side
Bramall Lane Sheffield United The Kop
City Ground Nottingham Forest The Trent End
County Ground Northampton Town
County Ground Swindon Town The Town End
Dean Court AFC Bournemouth The North Stand
Deepdale Preston North End Bill Shankly Kop
Elland Road Leeds United The Revie Stand
De Geusselt MVV Angel Side
Highfield Road Coventry City The Kop
Hillsborough Stadium Sheffield Wednesday Spion Kop
Home Park Plymouth Argyle Blocks 7-10, Devonport-Lyndhurst Corner
Layer Road Colchester United
Leeds Road Huddersfield Town Popular (East) Terrace
Loftus Road Queens Park Rangers The Loft
Manor Ground Woolwich Arsenal Spion Kop
Meadow Lane Notts County Spion Kop
Oakwell Stadium Barnsley The North and South Stands
Parc des Princes Paris Saint-Germain Kop de Boulogne
Portman Road Ipswich Town F.C. North Stand (two-tiered due to lack of space)
Prenton Park Tranmere Rovers The Kop
Racecourse Ground Wrexham Spion Kop
Recreation Ground Chesterfield Spion Kop
Riverside Stadium Middlesbrough F.C. The Holgate
St Andrews Birmingham City Spion Kop
St James' Park Newcastle United Sir John Hall stand/Leazes End
Stade de Gerland Lyon Bad Gones - Kop Virage Nord
Stadium of Light Sunderland South West Corner, North Stand
Stamford Bridge Chelsea The Shed End
Villa Park Aston VIlla The Holte End
Stade Michel d'Ornano Caen Première (The Premier)
Valley Parade Bradford City Carlsberg Stand
Windsor Park Linfield The Kop/Alex Russell Stand
De Vijverberg de Graafschap Spinnekop
Filbert Street Leicester City Spion Kop (Double Decker)
Walkers Stadium Leicester City Spion Kop (replacing the south stand as of the 2008-2009 season)
Withdean Stadium Brighton The East Stand Kop
Marston Road Stafford Rangers The Shed End
Bulgarska Armia CSKA Sofia Sector G (Severna Tribuna)
Stadio Olimpico S.S. Lazio Curva Nord (North Stand)
Maksimir Stadium Dinamo Zagreb Sjever (The North)
Nihondaira Stadium Shimizu S-Pulse The West Stand
Stadion Albert Flórián Ferencváros B közép ("B central")
Stadion Crvena Zvezda Crvena zvezda Sever (North)
Columbus Crew Stadium Columbus Crew Nordeke
Toyota Park Chicago Fire Section 8
Celtic Park Celtic The Jungle (prior to the 1990s redevelopment)
Teddy Stadium Beitar Jerusalem FC East Stand (HaMizrachi) and North Stand (HaTzfoni)
Stadion JNA FK Partizan South Stand (Jug)


The supporters on Liverpool's Kop helped make Anfield famous for its atmosphere. "Kopites" is a collective name given to the loyal supporters of Liverpool Football Club.

Future designs

In November 2007, Sheffield United announced that it will add an additional 3,000 seats to their Kop. Work is scheduled to start in the Summer of 2008, and with a new capacity of over 13,200, Bramall Lane will overtake Anfield in housing the largest single tier Kop stand in Britain. Liverpool, however, have released plans to include a 18,000 capacity Kop in their new Stanley Park Stadium design.


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