It's often forgotten that there was an organised group in the old Popular side long before the Kop came into being, they had their own songs and chants and went as a group to away matches, they also had leaders, I can remember a lad with the nickname of “Tot” being probably the last leader before they moved into the Kop.
Another one was a lad called Johnny Scouse, They were a lively bunch of lads and anyone who believes that the violence at matches didn't start until after the start of the 1970s wants to talk to some of the old-timers who were there.
The northern mill town clubs of Burnley, Blackburn, Bolton were dangerous places to go in the late 1950s and early 1960s. strangely enough except for Arsenal, there was hardly any problems with the London clubs until circa 1967.
In the early 1960s Leicester's Popular Side lads were involved in a notorious bottle-throwing incident at Highbury which the papers picked up on, stating that things were now getting out of hand. The Daily Express cartoonist Roy Ulyatt? had a large cartoon on the back sports page showing fans hurling scores of bottles down the terraces, one of the bottle throwers Gus got quite a heavy fine for the time, I was a very junior Popular side lad then, I can't say exactly when but I reckon it was at the start of the 1964-65 season when there was activity behind the goal on the Spion Kop. People started congregating and waving scarves and singing also some flags and banners appeared .it was obviously kids my age 13/14-year-olds who made up the majority, but as the weeks went by the numbers gradually grew and I also deserted the Popular Side for the new Kop, found out to my surprise that a good percentage of the group behind the goal were from the Hinckley area, Now, I know that Leicester people won't like this at all but it is completely true and when Hinckley Kopite JP claimed on the radio to have been part of a group that started the Kop, he wasn't making it up.
The Kop got bigger and rowdier and in September 1965 a message was sent across from the Pop side that they would be moving across to join with us at the next home game (Sunderland, I think) which they duly did.
In 1966 at the Aston Villa game a good number of plainclothes police were brought into the Kop and they stayed as a presence, it's not usually appreciated how far Leicestershire Police were in front of other forces with regard to combating hooligans, their ideas were taken on all over England and with Leicester Magistrates backing them up with heavy fines it made Leicester lads have to look over their shoulder a lot more. I will always believe that the clubs who became notorious during the 1970 s were the ones that didn't have to bother about police at all.
Anyway, the Kop was a colourful place with flags scarves whatever and was getting better all the time but at the start of the 1967-68 season against Spurs the police came in before the game and took every flag and banner away, with no explanation whatsoever and they were banned for good....More to follow