Why is Liverpool’s stadium called Anfield?

Why is Liverpool's stadium called Anfield?

Liverpool's Anfield stadium is one of the most beloved football stadiums in the world.  But why is it called Anfield?

Opened in 1884, Anfield has been home to both Everton and Liverpool Football Club.  Over its 140 year history, the ground has witnessed some of the games greatest players, as well as some of the best games ever to be played in England.

But why is it called Anfield?

Football stadiums are more than just structures.  They are often the focal point of the local community, bringing people together under a common cause.  Beacuse of this, stadiums were historically named after important local landmarks or areas, which helped to identify their importance to the local area.  This is certainly true of Liverpool's stadium, which is named after the suburb it is located in.

The word anfield has its roots in Old and Middle English words, and literally translates as 'a field on a slope'.  Although the area now known as Anfield was not officially called Anfield until after 1851, the name has been used to describe the surrounding area since the mid 1600's.

In 1836, the area known as Walton was incorporated into the City of Liverpool.  City planners wanted to create a new suburb, with a new name.  The Ordnance Survey map from 1851 showed a house called Annfield House, and it was this name that City Councillors choose to use when naming the new area.

At the time the new suburb was created, thousands of Irish immigrants were entering the City.  Local tradition states that the name may have been influenced by settlers arriving from Annefield in New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland.  It's possible that is why Annfield House has was given its name.

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Anfield stadium was opened in 1884, and hosted its first football match on 28th September that year.  The land the ground was sited on belonged to a local landowner, John Orrell.  He was a friend of John Houlding.  Houlding would later found Liverpool FC, but in 1884, he was a member of Everton's Board.  Everton needed a new ground, after complaints about noise from residents surrounding their earlier ground at Priory Road.  Orrell agreed to lend the Anfield site to Everton, for a small rent.

Over the next eight years, stands were erected at the site, to accommodate some of the 8,000+ spectators that regularly came to watch Everton play.  The site could actually hold 20,000 people, and occassionaly did for important matches.

In 1892, John Houlding split with Everton FC. Faced with an empty stadium, Houlding decided to create a new team - Liverpool Football Club.  Liverpool played their first game at Anfield on 1st September 1892, in front of just 200 people.

As the team improved, more and more people came to watch, with new stands being erected on what is now the Main Stand (1895), Anfield Road End (1903) and then the Kop (1906).

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... About The Author ...

Peter Farrell :: LFC - Back On Our Perch Author and Editor

Peter Farrell - Editor and Chief Article Writer, LFC - Back On Our Perch
Articles written by Author :: 352

Lifelong fan with a passion for all things Liverpool. First memory of football is watching John Barnes score a dramatic last minute equaliser in the FA Cup when he was 4. Feels lucky to be a part of the 'Klopp' era.

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