By Andre Moura, FootballPredictions.NET, 16:47 07/09/2020
Liverpool have spent their entire 128-year history playing at Anfield since being formed back in 1892.
The name comes from a farm and area of old townland just outside New Ross, County Wexford in the Republic of Ireland - with the Anfield name being shortened from ‘Annefield’, meaning ‘The River Fields’.
The origin of the stadium’s name has not always been so clear or well known, and there are several urban myths relating to the origin of the Anfield name.
Alternative origins for the Anfield name
Whilst it is now accepted that a farm in County Wexford, Ireland holds the origin of the name ‘Anfield’, it has not stopped several alternative reasons for the Liverpool ground’s moniker throughout the club’s history.
One story claims that the word ‘Anfield’ is a shortened version of ‘Hangfields’ - the name given to the narrow strips of land which occupied the area the ground was built on years before it was there.
Meanwhile, an Ordnance Survey map of the area from 1842 shows a number of buildings with similar names, such as Annfield House, Annfield Lodge, and Annfield Cottage. This has led many Liverpool supporters to make a connection to the name of their beloved ground.
The peculiar history of Anfield
Having been built in 1884, Anfield was originally the home of Liverpool’s Merseyside rivals, Everton, until 1892. Everton chose to move away from Anfield after a row with former board member John Houlding.
Houlding was friends with the owner of Anfield and after parting ways with Everton following the disagreement over how the club was run (which had stemmed from Houlding’s suggestion to purchase the land at Anfield), he was left with an empty stadium.
As a result, Houlding formed a new side to play at the ground and, thus, Liverpool were founded in 1892.
For Liverpool’s first league match, only 5,000 fans attended Anfield, but the construction of the current Main Stand’s first iteration in 1895, raised the capacity by 3,000.
The infamous Kop was then constructed at the Anfield Road end in 1903. Floodlights have been in use at Anfield since 1957, first being put into use during the Merseyside derby.
The most recent redevelopments of the stadium were completed in the summer of 2016, as 8,500 seats were added to the Main Stand. There remains a proposed plan to redevelop the Anfield Road end to see Anfield’s capacity rise to a total of 58,000.
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Leaving Anfield for a new home in the future
The first seeds of a plan for Liverpool to move away from Anfield and to a new stadium were planted as early as May 2002. The new ground was initially proposed to have a capacity of 55,000, but this was later raised to 61,000 to allow for segregation between home and away fans.
Numerous attempts were made between 2003 and 2007 to secure permission for a ground share with Everton from Liverpool City Council at the proposed site in Stanley Park - which currently separates Anfield and Goodison Park.
These attempts failed due to neither club agreeing on favourable terms prior to the takeover of Liverpool in 2007. Despite Liverpool securing planning permission and a 999-year lease for their proposed site, as well as publicly releasing the stadium design in 2008, the financial crisis of the same year put an end to any hopes of a new stadium.
Fans’ hopes and/or fears of a move away were finally dispelled after the Fenway Sports Group bought Liverpool in 2010 and outlined their preference to instead redevelop Anfield.