Kelly, Stephen (2005) The Kop: Liverpool's twelfth man. Virgin, London, UK. ISBN 0753510197

The Kop was initially published in 1993 and updated in 2005 to take account of new evidence. It made a significant contribution
to sports journalism and social history as the first oral history study to focus on football fandom. Through more than 100
interviews the book examines the importance of the role of community, the nature of locality, the dynamics of fandom, fashion,
and ritual. In doing so takes it details the role of the fan in sport. The interviews recorded varying social changes in fandom
going back as far as 1910 with many interviews covering the 1930, 40s, 50s and 1960s. The study of sport through oral history
techniques is now recognised as a legitimate and important technique in the study of popular culture and is of increasing
importance in the work of the sports journalist.

The book is typical of the style of interviewing which any sports journalist has to undertake where a pro-active approach may
have to be made in order to find interviewees. This involved advertising in newspapers, approaching supporters’ clubs, fanzines,
and web sites. The book also takes the approach of concentrating on fans in order to understand their relationship with the club,
the terracing and the city of Liverpool. The original study was written to coincide with the demolition of the Kop in 1993 following
Lord Justice Taylor’s Report which recommended an ending to standing areas. The book was updated in 2005 to examine the
reaction of fans to the new seating arrangements and in order whether this had led to any changes in the culture of fandom.

Since publication a number of other sports journalists have written similar books about other specific football clubs, thereby
contributing to a trend of sports oral history studies that has almost become a genre of football writing.

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