Sunday, 27 April 2014

You'll Never Walk Alone

Liverpool FC -The 12th Player. Story Of The Kop

The Kop at Anfield dates back to 1905-06. At the end of that season which saw Liverpool lift the second of their league championships the directors at the club decided to reward the loyalty of the fans by building a new brick and cinder banking at the Walton Breck road end of the ground. It was christened as the Spion Kop by Ernest Jones in memory of the many scousers who died in battle over a hill in South Africa by the same name during the Boer War.

In 1928 The Kop was altered to terracing and a massive roof added to protect the thousands of fans who gathered to watch their beloved team play. Other teams named their stands as the Kop but the one at Anfield was the original and the best.

The terrace housed the greatest fans in the game and it was often thought that the fans were worth a goal start to the reds. They would try and suck the ball in if their team was losing and in one of the Kop's famous nights they put the fear of God into Inter Milan in a European semi-final.

The Kop was turned into a shrine in 1989 to the 96 fans who were innocently killed at Hillsborough. The fight for Justice still goes on today more than 10 years after the disaster. After the disaster new guidelines were issued about terracing at football games which brought to an end standing at top flight games. And so in 1994 the Kop changed from a terrace to an all-seater Kop Grandstand. The Kop's Last Stand came against Norwich City in May 1994 and Jeremy Goss went down in history as the last player to score in front of the famous terrace.

Pieces of the Kop were put up for charitable sale when the terrace was demolished and some can still be bought in aid of the Forget-Me-Not Campaign.

Reclaim The Kop

Reclaim The Kop, often referred to as RTK, is a campaign among fans of Liverpool Football Club to restore the matchday atmosphere within The Kop specifically, and Anfield more generally. It was established by a group of Liverpool fans in October 2006, and publicly launched in January 2007.


The Reclaim the Kop campaign attributes its origins to a UEFA Champions League match between Liverpool and Bordeaux on 31 October 2006, at which the group's instigators felt disappointed with the formulaic and disrespectful nature of the chants and songs used by Liverpool supporters. The campaign was subsequently formed as a means of promoting and disseminating traditional Liverpool fan songs, and generally campaigning for an improved atmosphere at Anfield, with greater levels of fan participation. In particular, the campaign claims that it intends to educate supporters about the uniqueness of Liverpool fan culture, and to offset the influence of sources of generic football fan culture, in particular the Sky Sports show Soccer AM.


The group and its aims were initially promoted by the official Liverpool F.C. website, which published a series of "Reclaim the Kop" articles highlighting and encouraging the uniqueness of Liverpool's support through features such as photographs of homemade banners, poems, and recordings of fans singing various traditional Liverpool football songs, with karaoke style displays of the words to help visitors to the site to "learn and sing" and join in. This promotion, however, did not run for the 10 weeks that had been originally planned and was dropped by the club's official website. The launch of the campaign briefly attracted the attention of Liverpool's local press and was reported on and discussed on local radio stations such as Radio City.

On 6 January 2007, Reclaim the Kop organised a protest during the third round FA Cup match between Liverpool and Arsenal which was broadcast live on the BBC. The intention of the protest, which was dubbed 'Truth Day', was to highlight the anger of Liverpool fans that the BBC had employed Kelvin MacKenzie as a presenter, in spite of his comments during late 2006 that he did not feel any regret that while working as editor of The Sun he had published an article in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster which fabricated claims about the behaviour of Liverpool fans- including that fans had urinated on police and stolen from the bodies of the dying. The claims made in the story were subsequently found to be untrue and dismissed by the Taylor Report. On the day of the protest 12,000 fans in the Kop were given cards to hold up, forming a mosaic spelling out the words "The Truth". The mosaic was visible while Liverpool supporters chanted "Justice for the 96" for six minutes, signifying the length of time that the Hillsborough game played on for before being abandoned. In addition to being visible during the BBC's transmission of the match, the protest was widely reported in national newspapers.

The Reclaim The Kop group were responsible for the demonstration in support of the club manager, Rafa Benitez, in November 2007. The demonstration is widely regarded as being a huge success. Massive TV and newspaper coverage saw images of several thousand fans parading round the streets of Anfield in support of their manager, and in protest against the unpopular regime of then club owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett. The march and demo is featured in the film 'Passport to Liverpool' as an example of how Liverpool people will bond and take to the streets when faced with injustice and adversity.

Reclaim The Kop are currently engaged in expanding the so-called '306 section' at the rear of the Spion Kop at Anfield. Several hundred supporters - the RTK and likeminded fans - relocated their season tickets to this block in the famous Kop in the summer of 2007. It was so that fans who shared the same ideas and wanted to help promote the Kop's traditions could sit (or stand) together. It resulted in an improvement in both the volume, and the quality, of the vocal support from The Kop. Several old songs have made their reappearance amongst The Kop's repertoire and the RTK were responsible for the Fernando Torres song and its accompanying 'bounce'.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

The Hillsborough Tragedy. A Cover-Up Uncovered

Coming clean. When can Malaysian society evolve into one with a sense of fair play based on social consciousness and conscience? I doubt we can ever if we cannot overcome racial and religious prejudice, and also move away from welfare mentality towards social responsibility. This BBC reports how the truth has prevailed after 24 years!

I never knew of this cover-up and always thought it was due to crowd indiscipline and gatecrashing. 96 Liverpool fans died tragically that day (15th April 1989).

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Beauty Pageant Saudi Style.

Saw this on Facebook. Pun intended. 

However, I think we should not be so quick to condemn this even though a cattle show remains a cattle show if we go by women's dignity alone. 

As they say, beauty lies in the "eyes" of the beholder i.e. it is a matter of perception. In the case of the Miss Saudi contest, lets try this; take each of our 5 senses in turn starting with "Sight". Since the contestants are all "wrapped up" there is nothing much for the eyes feast on nor to differentiate (except the eyes per se of course). 

"Touch" is taboo so that too is out! 

What about "Smell" then? Since it is not a perfume brand contest, what can the judges be smelling? You go figure but I hardly think Smell is a criteria. 

"Taste"? Well, I cannot imagine! 

That leaves, "Aural" sense. Well maybe this is what the contestants are judged on. If this be the case, I wonder whether it is form or substance that is more important? Furthermore, if "Aural" sense is the main criteria, then contestants should merely be required to submit sound files of their voices! 

In the final analysis, I think it is the "Sixth Sense" that is primary to the judges. How else can divine intervention be brought in to decide the winners? Hmmm...the Devil made them participate but God decided the winner! Can't imagine I just spent the last 10 minutes writing the load of crap above that you spent time reading! LOL!!!

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Karpal Singh - Icon

All things said...