Kop that! Ken puts Reds fan in the picture

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A LIFElong Liverpool FC fan has been immortalised outside his beloved Anfield thanks to two specially commissioned paintings by Scarborough artist Ken Wood.

Liverpudlian Jeff Coates, now of South Cliff in Scarborough, features in two paintings outside the football club’s ground alongside his pet dog Rafa and cat Sherlock.

Mr Coates, who is a civil servant, says he fell in love with Ken Wood’s unique ‘fisheye’ style of painting after buying one of his pieces.

He said: “I bought one of Ken’s paintings off him last year because I really loved the style he uses.

“I decided I would like a painting done of Anfield because there was talk of them knocking it down in the future to build a new ground.”

“I am a lifelong Liverpool supporter and I used to live close to the ground. That place just has so many memories for me, going right back to when I was a kid, and I wanted something personal and permanent to reflect that.

“I asked Ken what he thought about it and he agreed to do the painting for me.”

Mr Coates and Mr Wood then took a trip to Liverpool to take some photographs of the ground – famous for its Kop stand – to help them choose which angle to paint.

Mr Coates said: “I thought Ken had just put me in the photographs for scale but when he started painting I saw he had actually put me in too. I didn’t mind, but then when the kids found out they wanted the dog and the cat adding too, so Rafa and Sherlock ended up on them with me.”

Despite originally only wanting one painting, Mr Coates commissioned two in the end so he would have one to pass on to each of his two daughters.

Mr Coates said: “The finished pictures are great. They are both up on the wall now at home. I am really pleased, they are both better than I imagined they could be. It’s great to have something so personal to me and my family.”