Following today's sad but expected announcement that the Kop Stand at Windsor Park should 'be made safe through demolition following recent structural damage', Linfieldfc.com invites submissions from supporters with regard to our favourite Linfield memories of the famous, popular and iconic landmark on the South Belfast skyline.
While it would be impossible to forget or underestimate the amazing memories of the inspirational David Healy's goals in front of the packed Kop Stand at a buzzing Windsor Park on international nights, Linfieldfc.com is looking for your favourite Linfield memories of a stand which was a favourite vantage point for many Linfield supporters through what has been (for the main part) a largely successful 20 year chapter in the proud history of this great club and institution.
Submissions can be sent to email@example.com and a selection of replies will be posted below this news item, by way of a tribute to a soon to be demolished and much loved part of the tradition and history of this club. The Kop Stand has been the scene of countless memories for a generation of our supporters, many of whom will also recall with equal affection the sprawling Spion Kop terracing which was replaced in the late 1990s by the Kop Stand (and renamed for a period The Alex Russell Stand in honour of a much loved former Linfield goalkeeping great)
Planning preparation for this demolition work will begin immediately and the IFA have also confirmed that their upcoming UEFA Euro 2016 qualifier against Romania on Saturday 13 June 2015 will be played at Windsor Park. The 10,000 capacity will be met for this game by accelerating works on the Railway Stand, the area where the Viewing Lounge once stood and the South Stand.
It’s such a shame that the Kop Stand has to be demolished. I’ve so many fond memories sitting in the Upper deck religiously every week.
Just like the new stadium I watched it being built from scratch and develop into the unique stand it was. Cold Tuesday nights taking my seat for matches in the Gold Cup or County Antrim Shield to Irish Cup Finals with a more or less filled capacity. It was my home away from home.
There are so many memories I can share. Some really good and some not so good. The time we reached the Setanta Cup Final for the second time vs Drogheda United. I couldn’t bear to watch the penalty shootout I was that nervous. I went downstairs to stand and listen to the crowd reaction to see if we’d clinched it or not. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be and thankfully, there have been more positive stories than negative.
The one that stands out for me was the time, and I’m sure it’ll be on top of most people’s memories, is clinching the Clean Sweep against our fierce rivals Glentoran. Nothing will top that feeling. The night before, I was one of many supporters who helped organise the card display. So we spent hours before and after the AGM trying to set up the display. Then on cup final day it was slightly windy so we went up first thing on the Saturday to ensure everything was still intact. Going into the game it was a party atmosphere from start to finish. And how well the Kop looked that day when the players took to the field.
2.I am a member of the Junior Blues and one of my favourite memories of sitting in the Kop is when the Blues beat Crusaders to win the Irish cup and after I did mascot at the European cup match against B36 Torshavn.
3.Back in 1999 I spoke on the dangers of alcohol to 49 Academy cross community young people between training sessions in the concourse of the Kop Stand. Coaches and parents were also present.
Rev. Bill Lavery