Author Topic: The History of The Boys' Pen at Anfield  (Read 29392 times)

Offline Lad

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Re: The History of The Boys' Pen at Anfield
« Reply #40 on: April 23, 2014, 09:05:16 AM »
Great memories in this thread. I started in the pen with a few mates in 1970. As it has already been said it was a tough place with loads of 'hards'' as we used to call them. Got threatened a few times for no particular reason but always managed to avoid a punch. One time when I was leaving at the end of a game this lad grabbed my scarf which was tied round my wrist and tried to rip it off.

I do remember a Leeds kid with scarf being there once. I assume his parents sent him in there naively thinking he'd be safe. I don't need to bore you with the outcome. It wasn't pretty.

We used to get to the game by walking across Stanley Park through the gate by the Blue House. One afternoon me and my mate Willie got mugged by a gang of about 15 urchins just after we crossed the bridge over the boating lake. Stripped of every penny, one of them said " let them have enough back so as they can get into the pen ". Respect to that kid wherever he is now.

Did a couple of years in the pen before graduating to the fence at the front of the Road End and being witness to the endless violence down there inflicted on away fans. Then graduated to the middle of the Kop.
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Offline Kemlyn 28

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Re: The History of The Boys' Pen at Anfield
« Reply #41 on: January 16, 2015, 11:57:38 PM »
It was a pretty scary place at times.You had to have your wits about you(as an 8/9 year old as I was)as there'd be groups of older lads who'd have your money off you.Came through it unscathed though,and then we started to get off near the end of the game and go in the Kop.It was pointless really as we never saw a thing,and always seemed to miss a goal.

Offline Redsnappa

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Re: The History of The Boys' Pen at Anfield
« Reply #42 on: January 22, 2015, 12:06:14 PM »
Searching something else, but came across these two photos:

Queueing to get into the deepest pit of hell, sorry, the Boy's Pen at Anfield:



http://www.liverpoolpictorial.co.uk/blog/liverpool-fc-boys-pen/

... and Goodison's Boy's Pen (more like a cage):

« Last Edit: January 22, 2015, 12:10:34 PM by Redsnappa »
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Offline gazzam1963

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Re: The History of The Boys' Pen at Anfield
« Reply #43 on: February 1, 2015, 06:55:58 PM »
Ive seen that pic of the boys pen at anfield but not the goodison one , been in both many times because as a kid coming from anfield all of us would got to whomever was at home both reds and blues . An old plasterer I was working with a few years ago starts going on about a game were millwall fans tried to take the gladwys street end in a cup tie in 73  he wouldnt believe i was at the game until I described how all the action was in front of the boys pen and started telling him about pld everyone players I'd seen .

Offline Lad

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Re: The History of The Boys' Pen at Anfield
« Reply #44 on: February 4, 2015, 01:57:39 PM »
Ive seen that pic of the boys pen at anfield but not the goodison one , been in both many times because as a kid coming from anfield all of us would got to whomever was at home both reds and blues . An old plasterer I was working with a few years ago starts going on about a game were millwall fans tried to take the gladwys street end in a cup tie in 73  he wouldnt believe i was at the game until I described how all the action was in front of the boys pen and started telling him about pld everyone players I'd seen .

I remember that day. They played Millwall in the cup the same afternoon we played City in the league at Anfield, as I think we got knocked out the previous round. City didn't bring many fans so the Liverpool mob which was quite considerable in the seventies joined up with Everton to take on Millwall. I know this because I was waiting for a bus outside the Astoria when the two mobs joined up.
I believe a couple of Millwall got stabbed in the Street end that day.

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Offline Klopp-A-Delphia

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Re: The History of The Boys' Pen at Anfield
« Reply #45 on: February 28, 2015, 10:21:30 PM »
Any clear pictures of what the Pen used to look like?
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Offline Redsnappa

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Re: The History of The Boys' Pen at Anfield
« Reply #46 on: March 1, 2015, 09:57:07 AM »
Any clear pictures of what the Pen used to look like?

I tried another search using 'corner of the Kop and Main Stand' and came up with this:



from this feller's Twiter page:

https://twitter.com/redrazor20/status/494940835793100803

It must be very early because as far as I recall (from the late 60's onwards), the wire fencing went much higher which was why the escapees could get into the roof girders also I think there was a pipe attached to a roof support which you could climb.
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Offline whiteboots

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Re: The History of The Boys' Pen at Anfield
« Reply #47 on: August 31, 2016, 08:22:18 AM »
Thanks to all for reviving some fabulous and fond memories with their contributions to this thread.

Offline So... Howard Phillips

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Re: The History of The Boys' Pen at Anfield
« Reply #48 on: August 31, 2016, 04:56:52 PM »
I never went into the Boys Pen as I went straight into the Kop just before my 13th birthday. In the middle, about half way up ans spent most matches hanging on to a barrier. I loved it but looking at the Boys Pen was like a scene from Lord of the Flies. I've never had a head for heights and seeing some efforts to escape still makes me queasy.

Amazing to think in this regulated age how easy and cheap it was to get into the ground and learn some valuable life skills I.e getting on with the 15 stone bloke who was standing on your feet.

Offline stephen075

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Re: The History of The Boys' Pen at Anfield
« Reply #49 on: October 16, 2016, 10:18:38 PM »
Think this one is 1966
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Offline Redsnappa

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Re: The History of The Boys' Pen at Anfield
« Reply #50 on: October 19, 2016, 02:10:31 PM »
Just spotted this on the Wrap ...

...  an excerpt from Howie Gayle's new book '61 Minutes in Munich' - here's his experience of the Boy's Pen:

The Boys’ Pen – A Rite Of Passage For Kopites

THE boys’ pen was a steel cage in the top corner of the famous Kop stand. It could hold hundreds of kids, acting as a supposedly safe area away from the heaving masses in the Kop.

I was in my early teens when I started going to Anfield with lads from Norris Green. I quickly appreciated how easy it was to bunk in for free, especially when there were so many thousands of other people in the stand hiding you.

The pen was meant to be a satellite community of Shankly’s vision: day care for the offspring of seasoned Kopites — a place where sons deemed too diminutive for the genuine thing would spend their Saturday afternoons cheering on the Reds and learning what it meant to be a Liverpool supporter. That was the theory anyway.

The reality was quite different. The Kop seemed like an all-welcoming society. The pen was a holding ground for frustrated juveniles wanting to progress into the mainstream of the Kop to experience its vibrant atmosphere. It also had its dangers for young boys. One of the hardest-working groups of people on a match day at Anfield were the workers at the St John Ambulance, who had to deal with cases of fans passing out or injuring limbs following crushes in the standing areas of the ground. Supporters were forced into viewing crushing as part of the match-day experience.

The boys’ pen could also be a lonely place for newcomers outside the clique. Those that weren’t inside the clique didn’t hang around for long. Kids who stood in the pen were tough. Regulars in the Main Stand, just across from the pen, would witness and be the recipients of our wrath. The sound in the boys’ pen was very different to the sound in the main body of the Kop. The boys’ voices would be drowned out by the men because many of our voices hadn’t even broken yet. It was like a choir being quelled by an adult chant.

Fighting and swearing were commonplace. There were gangs from all different areas of the city. I went with lads from Norris Green: Peter McNamara, Anthony Hannah, Micky Baldwin and Karl Yoward. Then there were other gangs from Dingle, Halewood, Speke, Scotland Road and Kirkby. Although the obvious enemy was whomever Liverpool were playing on any given Saturday afternoon, there were times inside the pen when lads would have a scrap to claim their own territory. Once the game started, all of our energies were directed at supporting the team, but beforehand it was an intimidating environment and I had to be streetwise to survive, especially being the only black boy in there.

Most of the lads inside the pen were frustrated by the fact they were too small to get into the Kop. The Kop was the place to be — being there proved you were a proper Liverpool supporter. The atmosphere the other side of the fence was unbelievable. It was electric. The noise — that roar when Liverpool scored — it gave you the feeling of togetherness; a feeling of togetherness that I craved, which was absent from other areas in my life.

Though thrilling, it was an arduous task attempting to make it over the fences and into the Kop. There was a little gap in the pen big enough for the smallest lads to get through but taller ones had to be more inventive. A typical escape attempt would involve one kid climbing over and deliberately getting caught by a steward manning the fence. The steward would throw the sacrificial lamb out of the ground and while that was happening, 20 lads would jump over and merge into the Kop without being spotted.

The most adventurous attempt to flee was via the Kop toilets. They were directly below the pen so you’d get some terrible smells wafting through. Hot air rises, so there would be a pong. The sanitary conditions in the Kop were horrendous: worse than a Turkish prison.

I probably missed some great moments on the pitch because I was so busy trying to get out of the pen. There were many routes — some of them more precarious than others. I think we sometimes annoyed the older fellas on the Kop but they must have been impressed by our determination.

It was a great way to learn about football matches. It was where I started supporting Liverpool. You get a lot of people younger than me saying they started watching Liverpool in the Kop when the pen was finally closed. I think that generation has missed out. The pen was a rite of passage.


http://www.theanfieldwrap.com/2016/10/howard-gayles-61-minutes-in-munich-growing-up-in-norris-green-and-my-first-experience-of-anfield/

Made me laugh when he mentioned the pen and ink of the Kop toilets. In the 70's they were 'Midnight Express' bad as I remember. You'd have to be suffering dysentery to want to use the lavs. No wonder everyone wore Doc Martens and monkey boots ... kept yer laces from being soaked in piss!
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Offline mikeb58

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Re: The History of The Boys' Pen at Anfield
« Reply #51 on: October 19, 2016, 09:50:19 PM »
Kop taking the piss...'Boys Pen, Boys Pen give us a song, Boys Pen give us a song'

Boys pen in high pitched response 'Kopites are gobshites'

Cue Kop pissing themselves laughing!

Went in there a few times if I couldn't afford a full price Kop ticket, be late 60's/ early 70's. Saw Man United all in white destroy us 4-1 I think in there.

Hated it in the pen, shite view and loads of kids just out to cause trouble. Felt sorry for the fans that paid decent money for a seat in the Main Stand the other side of the Pens railings.

Stuff like 'ya fuckin posh twat' was always aimed at them!

As for the bunking out, did it a few times, but to be honest shit myself once in The Kop.To a young kid it was just a dark heaving mass, there was nowhere to stand and there was no way fans in The Kop would give up there spec for a kid bunking out of the Pen.

Also I saw the lads that climbed along the roof girders then waited to be caught below by Kopites, but it was obvious at times the fans on The Kop where getting pissed off at the distractions and risks catching these kids and would tell them to 'fuck off back into the Pen'

By that time a copper would be waiting for their return,and would chuck them out. By the end of the match a once full pen would be half empty, loads had either bunked out, where thrown out or when The Kop exit doors opened with about 20 minutes to go, left the Pen and got into The Kop that way.

Did that myself loads of times,oddly nobody ever stopped you doing that,there would be loads of part timers coming down the Kop steps at about 4.20pm and loads of kids heading in the opposite direction!
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 07:58:04 PM by mikeb58 »
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Offline stephen075

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Re: The History of The Boys' Pen at Anfield
« Reply #52 on: October 20, 2016, 04:06:13 PM »
Did anybody else have boys pens or just Anfield and Goodison?
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Offline Redsnappa

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Re: The History of The Boys' Pen at Anfield
« Reply #53 on: October 21, 2016, 10:10:20 AM »
Quick glimpse of that corner of the Kop/Main Stand in this from 1973: 0.25 on.


... Felt sorry for the fans that paid decent money for a seat in the Main Stand the other side of the Pens railings.

Stuff like 'ya fuckin posh twat' was always aimed at them!

...

The poor sods. Imagine having a main stand seasie next to that lot  :o

Quick glimpse of that corner of the ground 20 seconds into this from 1973:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/UGdctQzPAkY" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/UGdctQzPAkY</a>
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Offline mikeb58

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Re: The History of The Boys' Pen at Anfield
« Reply #54 on: October 21, 2016, 12:30:19 PM »
Great bit of footage that mate, I was at that one (Kop by then!) Leeds games where always massive in that era!

One of those times when we scored Kop end all hell broke loose and you where pulled and pushed all over the place, but never felt in danger cos everyone looked after each other.

If you where about to lose your balance and fall, you where dragged up before you hit the deck.

I look at that Kop footage and count myself lucky to be part of it.I feel sorry for young fans these days who missed out on the standing Kop in its prime.

They may feel the current Kop does produce an atmosphere to remember (now and again!) but honestly 28k fans standing in a smaller area, compared to 12k sitting in the current Kop...no contest in my opinion!

« Last Edit: October 21, 2016, 12:36:14 PM by mikeb58 »
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Offline Alan_X

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Re: The History of The Boys' Pen at Anfield
« Reply #55 on: October 21, 2016, 12:53:53 PM »
Quick glimpse of that corner of the Kop/Main Stand in this from 1973: 0.25 on.

The poor sods. Imagine having a main stand seasie next to that lot  :o

Quick glimpse of that corner of the ground 20 seconds into this from 1973:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/UGdctQzPAkY" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/UGdctQzPAkY</a>

I think that was 1974 - my first game at Anfield. Heighway scored the only goal in a 1-0 win. I was too old when I started going and never went in the boys pen.

It was:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/7zDPDkO2q6k" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/7zDPDkO2q6k</a>

Strange - they've cut that first clip to make it look like an Alec Lindsay cross to Heighway.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2016, 01:02:01 PM by Alan_X »
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