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Ten Things You Should Know About...Anfield
Anfield on match night
Anfield has witnessed many great matches. You probably know that it’s been home to Shankly, Paisley, Dalglish,Gerrard and Suarez but here’s some things you just might not know about the magical arena that is...Anfield!
#1.Known the world over as the home of Liverpool FC, Anfield was originally home to arch rivals Everton! When then tenants (1884-1892) Everton shirked at paying the rent increase proposed by landlord John Orrell, John Houlding decided that he would establish a team to replace them. So Liverpool FC was born (1892) into an immediate rivalry with the Toffees who established themselves a short distance away at GoodisonPark.
#2.The Anfield pitch is 75 yards wide and 110 yards long. It’s the same size as Craven Cottage but 3 yards slimmer and 6.5 yards shorter than The Etihad, which is the largest pitch in the Premier league.
#3.Wolverhampton Wanderers were the visitors for a 4th round F.A. Cup tie on 2 February 1952. A crowd of 61,905 turned up to see a 2-1 home win, with a certain Bob Paisley scoring. It remains Liverpool’s record home attendance.
#4.Although home to one of the World’s greatest football teams, Anfield has hosted a number of other sports. Wigan Warriors defeated Penrith Panthers 21-4 in the 1991 Rugby League World Club Challenge, whilst local boy Nel Tarleton claimed the World Featherweight boxing title by beating Freddie Miller in 1934. Even Fred Perry and The Harlem Globetrotters have shown off their skills there, but not on the same night!
#5. Liverpool is a great maritime city and its connection with the sea is well known. Less well known is that Anfield has its own piece of sea-faring history. Standing tall just behind The Kop is a flag pole. Not just any flagpole but one that originally was a mast on the S.S. Great Eastern, once the World's largest ship and designed by Brunel. When the ship was eventually broken up in 1889 the mast was taken to Anfield.
#6. On 1 September 1892 Liverpool beat Rotherham Town 7–1. It was their first match at Anfield and was watched by only 200 people. The first match was actually Everton’s 5-0 win over Earlestown on 28 September 1884.
#7. Anfield is renowned for the fervent passion of the fans.After Liverpool defeated his Inter team 3-1 in the Semi-Final first leg of the 1965 European Cup manager Helenio Herrera said:” We have been beaten before but tonight we were defeated. The enthusiasm of the Liverpool fans stunned my players. Liverpool are a great team.”
A view from the Kop
#8. The boot room gained mythical status in footballing circles. The place where Shankly and his lieutenants Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and Reuben Bennett would huddle and plot the downfall of opponents. A place where visiting managers would be welcomed in, given a drink, and then sucked dry of valuable information!
#9. Scotland beat Wales in a World Cup Qualifying match on 12 October 1977. Liverpool’s very own Kenny Dalglish scored the second in a 2-0 win with a spectacular headed in front of a crowd of 50,850. It meant Scotland qualified for the Finals in Argentina and Wales spent the summer on the beach.
#10. No one should ever visit Anfield without paying their respects at the memorials to Hillsborough and Heysel. Remember them.You'll Never Walk Alone.
And here’s one more to make it a football eleven:
#11.The Kop. The most famous stand in World football was named after the Spion Kop, a small hill in South Africa that had witnessed a battle in the Boer War in 1900. The stand was finished in 1906 and local newspaper man, Ernest Edwards, suggested the name to honour the many local fallen soldiers.