The new Anfield: A miracle has been accomplished

September 3, 1906
The changes that have taken place at Anfield Road will delight those who have visited that enclosure in years gone by. For a long time the triangular piece of waste ground at the Walton Breck Road entrance was a source of discomfort for many. In wet weather it formed a muddy embankment, which had to be crossed, and if the day was fine it was used as a playground for a lot of youths who did not profess any consideration for passers-by.

Oftentimes, too, it was occupied by travelling shows, and the blaring tones of the organs which are the proud possession of such things were not a source of delight to the man with a musical ear. Another relic of the past which has disappeared is the old bottle neck exit at Kemlyn Road, which is something  to be devoutly thankful for. Now a handsome and substantial wall has been erected, and the exits and entrances will be as near perfection as possible.

Anfield in 1892. Seen from The Kop, mainstand to the left and Kemlyn Road to the right. Sketch drawn by Tony Onslow.

The first thing that strikes one on entering the ground is the huge terracing which is rising at the west end. Already  there are forty steps completed, but eventually there will be one hundred, and it will accommodate about 20,000 people. The terracing is continued along the two sides, but, of course, it does not rise to anything like the height it does at the west end.

For the moment the Anfield Road stand has not been interfered with, but terracing has been carried round to join it, and what was wasted space has been utilised fully. To make those standings comfortable barriers have been erected, and they are Archibald Leitch’s patent barriers, which are absolutely unbreakable.

Anfield in 1894. Main stand towards top left corner, The Kop towards bottom left corner, Kemlyn Road Pavilion towards bottom right corner. The Kemlyn Road Pavilions were taken down and removed, and the Main stand moved across to replace it.

The grand stand has been removed to the opposite side, where the old original small stand used to be. That has gone for ever, but the substitute has been altered and improved so that everybody who has a seat thereon will be comfortable, and able to have a perfect view of the game.

The Main stand in 1894-95 season seen from corner of The Kop (probably with The Albert pub next to us). This main stand was moved across to the Kemlyn Road side in the summer of 1906.

In days to come a new stand will be built, and then the ground will be complete, but that is not yet. The playing pitch looks very fine, and if the sods have knitted together it will vie with Goodison Park for perfection. It has been moved considerably over, and a portion of the new playing pitch is where the big stand was in former years.

To enable it to be carried over, the ground had to be raised nearly three feet, and an immense quantity of earth had to be obtained in order to bring it up to the necessary level. The corners have been rounded, so that there is a chance of seeing the game from every standpoint.

Probably one of the first ever pictures of Anfield, taken some time between 1903 and 1906. From The Kop, with the Main stand to the left.

I suppose everybody to-day will be going to see for themselves, but I doubt whether many of the assembled thousands will really understand the magnitude of the work undertaken. The accomplishment is seen and will be appreciated, but how it was done can only be known to those  who have watched the progress from time to time.

The amount that has been tipped there reaches thousands of tons, and to obtain this alone, and to see it properly distributed it a great thing in itself. But when one remembers that everything had to be pulled down before the work of re-construction could be commenced, and that time was limited, then one realises that almost a miracle has been accomplished.

The new Anfield. The Kop towards the bottom left corner. the Kemlyn Road, towards the bottom right corner, now consists of the old Main stand.

The Liverpool directors were fortunate in obtaining the services of Mr. Archibald Leith, of London and Glasgow, the experienced ground architect, who has been responsible for many of the finest grounds in the kingdom, including Fulham, Chelsea, and Bramall Lane. He has designed the ground, and I think everybody will agree that he has made the very best use of the site.

He has given great attention to it, and must himself feel pleased at the result of his labours. He has been ably assisted by the clerk of the works, Mr. George Nelson, and the directors, from the chairman downwards, have displayed a great interest in every step. Indeed certain of the gentlemen connected with the club, such as Messrs. Edwin Berry, John Fare, William Coward Briggs. John James Ramsay, and Tom Watson, seemed to live on the ground, for they were always there. Another year must elapse before the scheme is fully carried out, but when complete the ground will be a picture.
(Joint Everton & Liverpool Programme, 03-09-1906)

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