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The first recorded reference to a sports terrace as "Kop" related to Woolwich Arsenal's Manor Ground in 1904. A local newsman likened the silhouette of fans standing on a newly raised bank of earth to soldiers standing atop the hill at the Battle of Spion Kop. 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 use of the name was given formal recognition in 1928 upon construction of a roof. Even though it could be the best known, it was not the first terrace to carry the Spion Kop name; Arsenal's Manor Ground came before it. Many other English football clubs and some rugby league clubs (such as Wigan's former home Central Park) applied the same name to stands in later years.
Villa Park's old Holte End was 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. However, in the mid-1980s work was completed on Hillsborough's Kop which, with a capacity of around 22,000, became the largest roofed terrace in Europe.
Liverpool's Spion Kop was closed and demolished in 1994 to comply with requirements of the Taylor Report, which made all-seater stadiums obligatory in the highest two divisions of English football. A new Spion Kop was built in its place with 12,390 seats.
One of the most respected and feared Kop ends in England is the Chapel Kop at St Mary's Stadium. In the shadow of St Mary's Church where Southampton FC were formed in 1885, the Chapel Kop is famous for its rolling version of the club's anthem When The Saints Go Marching In.
There is much debate about what type of stand constitutes a Kop. The size and location of the stand in the stadium varies; most are located behind the goal and are occupied by its club's most vocal supporters. It is usually a single-tiered stand and is traditionally terraced. In England, safety regulations brought into effect after the 1989 Hillsborough disaster required many to be made all-seated. A Kop is not necessarily the largest stand in the stadium and does not have to have a particularly large capacity; for example, Chesterfield's former stadium, Saltergate, had a Kop with a capacity of only a few thousand.
|Central Park (demolished 1999)||Wigan Warriors RLFC||The Kop (demolished 1999)|
|Baseball Ground (demolished 2003–04)||Derby||Popside Kop (The Popside) (demolished 2003–04)|
|Bloomfield Road||Blackpool||Mortensen Kop|
|Bramall Lane||Sheffield United||The Kop|
|County Ground||Northampton Town||Spion Kop|
|Deepdale||Preston North End||Bill Shankly Kop|
|Elland Road||Leeds United||The Kop|
|Filbert Street (demolished 2003)||Leicester City||Spion Kop (Double Decker) (demolished 2003)|
|Highfield Road (demolished 2006)||Coventry City||The Spion Kop Terrace (demolished 2006)|
|Hillsborough Stadium||Sheffield Wednesday||Spion Kop|
|Home Park||Plymouth Argyle||Spion Kop (demolished 2001)|
|Knowsley Road (demolished 2011)||St Helens R.F.C.||The Kop (demolished 2011)|
|Manor Ground (demolished c.1913)||Woolwich Arsenal||Spion Kop (demolished c.1913)|
|Meadow Lane||Notts County||Spion Kop|
|Prenton Park||Tranmere Rovers||The Bebington Kop|
|Racecourse Ground||Wrexham||The Kop (not used since 2008) |
|Recreation Ground (demolished 2012)||Chesterfield||Spion Kop (demolished 2011) |
|St Andrew's||Birmingham City||Spion Kop|
|Stade de la Meinau||RC Strasbourg||Ouest Kop|
|Wilderspool Stadium (demolished 2014)||Warrington Wolves||Spion Kop (demolished 2014)|
|Valley Parade||Bradford City||The Kop End|
|King Power Stadium||Leicester City||The Kop, Fosse Stand|
|Windsor Park||Linfield / Northern Ireland||The Kop|
|Parc des Princes||Paris Saint-Germain||Kop of Boulogne|
|De Vijverberg||De Graafschap||de Spinnekop|