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Written by Peter Etherington   
Thursday, 31 August 2006

Evo's first O.T.K. Eddy.

Hello boys and girls, welcome to I’m not gonna bang on in this, my opening editorial; most of you reading this will probably either know me or know of me. For those who do I’m sure you’re wondering, “Why onthekop?” when for years I’ve been wittering on about how the expression should be IN the Kop rather than ON. The answer is quite simple really. When me and my mate Mooro decided to start this site up and were looking for a domain name we both agreed that it had to have the word Kop in it. I know from my books ONE BOY AND HIS KOP, MY YOUTH MY KOP and MIDDLE OF THE KOP that the word Kop sells, simple as that. I wanted Mooro, cos he’s a wool, wanted but was willing to go along with ITK. Just a minute thought I, cos I’m like that sometimes, people searching for our site might type ITK and it would then become universally known as that in much the same way that redandwhitekop is RAWK, redallovertheland is RAOTL etc. ITK is a site, a very good one I have to say, that caters for maybe not the same type of person that OTK espouses to attract and we don’t want to step on anybody’s cybertoes so, onthekop it is then.

The techys behind OTK are Mooro and Eireann. Eireann is a top man in the IT field, working for OPTA. You can’t get much more techy than that! They’ll be the people responsible for the way the site actually looks. It is you, the readers, who are responsible for what actually goes on the site. We have some great writers lined up for the site. Modesty almost, but not quite, forbids me from mentioning myself and the three books I’ve written; OH I’VE ALREADY DONE THAT! My poems will also be on the site including many about Hillsborough in a special section dedicated to the memories of the 96 Reds who perished on 15th April 1989. Poetry by other writers will also be in that section as will the stories of survivors such as a truly heart wrenching one by Damian Kavanagh that has earned universal Web acclaim. Speaking of poets we will have contributions from the best performance poet around at the moment, Dave Kirby, known to many from his early days as Boots ‘n’ Braces on the old, halcyon days of the Red All Over The Land Forum. Dave and his mate, another brilliant Scouse writer Nicky Allt who penned the highly successful Boys From The Mersey, have written an achingly funny play called Brick Up The Mersey Tunnels. BUTMT has recently finished a sell out fortnight run at the Royal Court, winning much critical acclaim. Dave and Nicky also have an anthology of poems called Kop Stories, available from the Hillsborough Justice Campaign shop opposite the Albert. If you have any trouble getting hold of a copy give me a shout and I’ll try sort it.

Other writers lined up, although not as well known as Dave and Nicky but might well be very soon, are Dan Wakefield who will be bringing us his “View From The Wheelchair” column. Dan is an incredibly brave young man who has a condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy, making many sacrifices, health-wise and otherwise to get to every match home and away, both domestically and in Europe. Dan puts to shame so many people who claim, for whatever reason, that they can’t get to a match when the truth is they won’t. Sam Coare (Mule on OTK) has written a brilliant piece about the Big C at Anfield. The Big C? Read the piece to find out. Alan Heywood (known as Emsy on the OTK Forums) will be bringing us his cutting, slightly acerbic but eminently readable observations of life at Anfield as it is now under newish management and as it was in the not so distant past. Andy Campbell will also be commenting on life at Anfield as it was with his amusing views of ex-managers and players. Steve Hinds, the most lovable total loonball you, I or anybody else in the world is ever likely to come across will be telling us tales of derring do on his European trips this season. Covering the domestic away matches will be myself, Mooro and Jo Struyk, known as Red Reporter. Jo is going for her first 100% domestic home and away record this year so good luck to her; we all look forward to reading her experiences from a lady’s point of view. A Classic European Trips section will include an astounding account by Robbie Ashcroft (Mottman) of a trip to Dresden in 1976 when even attempting to get to such an inhospitable place was a strenuous ordeal and not the jolly “let’s get on a couple of aeroplanes and see a new city” jape the Eurobores have today. Eurobores? Yes, those people, all good Reds at heart I’m sure, who go to about four games a season (not within a country mile of Old Trafford or Birmingham though) but never tire of telling you about “amazing” trips to such outposts as Liberec, Bucharest, Haaka, Slovenia etc and how they drank the nights away with reckless abandon when if you count up the number of bevvies they’ve had as mentioned in the story it amounts to about half-a-dozen bottles of unpronounceable, unremarkable and probably undrinkable beer.

You might well have guessed by now that OTK will be aimed mainly at match-going Reds. That is definitely NOT to say we will be excluding anybody. We well understand that there are many Reds all over the country, indeed all over the world, who will wish to be part of and contribute to the site. No problem with that at all. A match report from an exiled Scouser who watched the match with a load of other Reds in New York’s Kinsale Tavern (is that still the base of NY Reds?) and had a good craic, win or lose, will be most welcome. What we really don’t want are people pontificating about all things LFC while not bothering their arse to actually go to see the Redmen play. Match reports will mainly be about the craic, the social aspect and such like of going to a match rather than what the match itself was like although obviously the actual kicking and heading of a football will find it’s place in those reports.

Now to the Forums. Forums these days are an essential part of any footy site. The OTK Forums will be no exception. At the moment we have three Forums: the main LFC Forum will be the place where we can discuss most things LFC related. What constitutes quite what LFC related means and how far it stretches will be down mainly to you, the writers and readers. I certainly won’t be beating anybody with a big stick if they happen to slightly stray off topic and maybe ask where Evo is planning his ticket ops this week or whether Mooro will be taking lunch with the Queen this weekend at Windsor Castle. Did you hear about him and her? Disgusting! Read all about it in the “Latest News” section of the Forums. Enough digression! Anything else, whether LFC related or not can pretty much fit into the Local Forum. As the title suggests, this is the place where you can have a good old-fashioned chinwag and maybe a barney or two on life’s ever-interesting foibles such as whether Dot Cotton’s knickers really are cotton or was the whale that got stuck in the Thames Evo in disguise? Basically what I’m saying is any old shite can go in there. Other OTK Forums might pop up in time such as a European Travel Forum where plans for trains, planes and automobiles can be discussed. What we don’t want are a whole load of Forums to cover every conceivable subject, creating a massive amount of work for us three Red Musketeers. In the early weeks of the site most of the admin/moderation stuff will be done by me with maybe Mooro and Eireann chipping in whenever they can but I have far more time than they do given the long hours, time consuming nature of their professions. As the site grows we will be looking for more Forum moderators. A few people have already volunteered their services and there are a few more me and Mooro have in mind. Any new Mods though must be aware of the type of moderating we want on our Forums. That is to say the quiet, have a word, “please modify your post but if you don’t want to fine, I’ll leave it as it is” unobtrusive manner in which I have been doing it so far and has earned praise from people who have had the “quiet Evo word.” What I don’t want to start doing is lock this, move that, delete the other, ban ban ban. There will be absolutely no links to any pornography sites or any other offensive sites allowed to be posted in the Forums. The plug will be pulled straight away if there is and there will be no quiet word. The key phrase is common sense. If we all apply that we should be okay. Which brings me neatly on to the Ticket Exchange Forum. This Forum will be my sole responsibility. I will moderate this Forum alone and it has absolutely no connection to Mooro and Eireann. The TEF is intended to sort people tickets who might be needing them from people who have spares on their hands. Now somebody might get a lot more spares than anybody else so absolutely no harm in that person sorting a number of tickets for a number of people, that is fine and is well within the spirit of what we are trying to achieve on this site in general. We don’t want the TEF to become a haven for touts or agencies and to be perfectly honest I don’t think it will be. People looking to buy, swap or sell tickets will be encouraged to post on other Forums on at least a fairly regular basis so I can make sure they are part of the site and are contributing rather than a “Johnny come lately” tout or agency. It must be stressed the Ticket Exchange Forum is NOT an agency and neither should it be perceived as such. A few guidelines are included in the Ticket Exchange Forum but I thought it only right to mention the spirit of the Exchange on the main site so everything is seen as above board and can in no way be construed as anything other than a few mates doing each other a favour.

Our aim on OTK is to keep the site advert free. How long we are able to sustain that is largely up to you, the members. Mooro has very kindly agreed to help me out with the cost of running the site by splitting the operating costs with me. We envisage however that the site will grow so big over the next six months or so that we will have to, as other sites do, ask for donations from members to pay what will be spiralling costs. Mooro knows all the techy stuff about gigs and bandwidth and tells me that the more cyberspace or whatever we use the higher the operating costs so, putting on my best Bob Geldof accent, I say to you, “Give us some effin money!”

We have actually already been offered donations from some members, an offer we will in time be glad to take up.

You will see a number of links, funnily enough in the links section, to other LFC websites. Please visit them and see what life is like on other sites. There are also links to a number of very worthy charities and good causes including the one, which if it isn’t closest to our hearts bloody well should be, the Hillsborough Justice Campaign. Please, if you ever have a spare shilling or you wanna get rid of your weekend slummy on a Monday morning, throw it the way of some of these charities and good causes. Some of them really are in desperate need of funds. Did you know that most Hospices need a minimum of something like £10,000 per month just to be able to open their doors? If they haven’t got that 10k the Hospice shuts – simple as that.

Speaking as we were of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign brings me neatly on to The Sun newspaper. The stance of this site on the issue of The Sun is absolutely, 100% clear – WE WILL HAVE ABSOLUTLEY NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. If there is any positive mention of The Sun in any article presented to us for inclusion on the site please be absolutely certain that article WILL NOT appear on the site. Neither will any positive mention of The Sun be allowed on any OTK Forum. Any post that contains links concerned with The Sun, such as “Read what The Sun has to say about the Lucas Neill deal” will be instantly deleted. Other LFC sites can bang on all they like about how we should be educating not vilifying Liverpool fans who read The Sun but I’m telling you now this site is not interested in educating anybody about that horrible rag. The lies that newspaper told has profoundly affected so many thousands of people, Reds and otherwise. If you are a Liverpool fan, of any age, you should NOT need educating.


Okey dokey, that’s enough of me banging on. I said I wasn’t gonna bang on didn’t I? Get on enjoying the site now and if you ever feel you want to contribute by writing or making positive, constructive suggestions for additions or improvements to the site please feel absolutely free so to do.




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