Spion Kop ?



As I pass through this small residential area on the A60 in Northern Nottinghamshire I have always wandered if it had any reference to the “Kops” at football grounds.

Research suggests that the local paper to Woolwich Arsenal’s Manor Ground in 1904 made comparison to ‘the silhouette of fans standing on a newly completed bank of earth to soldiers standing atop the hill at the Battle of Spion Kop’.

This area however has no hills but it turns out that its name comes from that same Battle of Spion Kop which took place during the Second Boer War in Natal, South Africa, in January 1900. Major General John Talbot Coke a prominent figure in the battle was the grandson of a local clergyman and industrialist in the area and it was because of this that the area was given its name. The Major Generals involvement in the battle appears inconclusive due to poor communications on the battlefield.

Many grounds still have an area called the ‘Kop’ but most have been covered and had seating installed in response to the Taylor Report which required all grounds in the two top leagues to be all seater stadiums.

So there is a tenuous link but not as I expected.





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