RTK Kop Charter
Today is a milestone for the world-famous city of Liverpool. 800 years ago, the city was granted its charter and the unique, historic, cosmopolitan melting-pot of Liverpool was born. Its dialect and its people are Scouse – a stew made of many ingredients – and its symbol is the iconic Liver Bird. One team in the city of Liverpool carries its name. One team carries the city of Liverpool’s symbol. One team spreads the city’s name far and wide. Ask anyone, anywhere in the world if they know of Liverpool and they’ll tell you yes – that’s where The Beatles are from. And Liverpool F.C.
Part of LFC’s folklore is its famous Spion Kop. And in reminding ourselves of the city’s history and traditions on the first day of its 800th Birthday, it’s worth reminding ourselves, the latest custodians of the famous Kop, of some its own principles.
First is that we are only custodians. The Kop is a spirit, an attitude, the heart and soul of Liverpool F.C. No-one owns it, but together we are a legion, a force like no other.
2. There is no other. The Kop is a one-off. It’s the cradle of terrace culture, humour, songs – the original 12th Man. The Kop innovates. It has never followed. As Liverpudlians, we should never follow the rest of country’s trends and fancies. Whether that takes the form of lower-league grade chanting, overhead seal-clapping or the wearing of yokel-style head gear, The Kop deserves better.
3. “Liverpool F.C exists as a source of pride for its supporters. It has no other purpose.” If that is the club’s pledge to us, here’s ours to the team. “The Kop exists as a bastion of support. We will get behind the team through thick and thin. We will, always, give them strength.”
4. It’s the law of nature that fans have favourites. Let’s leave the negative stuff in the pubs and schools and wherever else there’s a debate to be had. Once we set foot inside Anfield, we are Redmen and we have one purpose; to help the team win.
5. Let’s get inside the ground earlier. This is all about playing our part in making Anfield special, and providing the backdrop and the inspiration for the team to walk tall. It’s also about letting the other team know where they are. When they come out to warm up, we want our heroes’ hearts pumping – and want the opposition shrivelling. Everyone loves a pre-match pint, but let’s get The Kop rocking, too.
6. On 15th April 1989, many thousands of us set off to support our team in the semi final of the F.A Cup. 96 of us never came home again. We will always honour the memory of those who died at Hillsborough. In our respect for them and their families, and in our disdain for the unprincipled and unregulated hacks who scared up a shameful pack of lies out of a desperate human tragedy, we will never purchase or read The Sun newspaper, and we deplore the reading of it by any Liverpool supporter.
7. It is our custom and our privilege to welcome supporters from far and wide. We expect all Kopites of all ages, wherever they sit inside the ground, to show similar respect to the city of the team they support. It’s not endearing when visitors don curly-perm wigs and tell locals to “calm down”. It’s not clever to laugh along with away fans who sing tiresome nursery rhymes about car crime. Support Liverpool F.C, and you support Liverpool, too.
8. We always applaud the other team’s goalie – it’s the Liverpool way.
9. “Liverpool F.C. Supporters All Over The World.” We don’t tolerate racism. Everyone knows LFC, all around the globe. From Nairobi to Ngoya, we have fans, people who love us because we do things The Liverpool Way. We have style, we have honour, we have principles. We are a global force with a local pulse – truly, a club of the people.
10. Our own icon, the symbol that makes The Kop a legend all over the world, is our anthem: You’ll Never Walk Alone. If there is one thing that sets us apart as fans, it’s this pre-match ritual, this war cry, our hymn of triumph, and occasional pain. We’re custodians of the anthem, and we have to maintain it and pass it on to the next generation, in pristine condition. We can never dilute the song, its message and its impact with half-measures and bursts of applause half way through. Let’s respect the anthem and do it proud, sing it slowly and with heartfelt emotion, right to the end, scarves held high.
1st January 2007
The Kop Pledge
Always support the team, no matter how bad they are playing.
If the team is doing badly, cheer even louder as they need your support more.
If a player is struggling, sing his name louder and more often as he needs it.
If the opposition are the better side and perform well, appreciate it and give them the credit they are due.