After Joe Fagan’s resignation, Liverpool were faced with the task of choosing a successor. Once again Liverpool would promote from within and would appoint the outstanding world class talent that was Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish.
Like previous managers before him, Dalglish continued the rich and decorated tradition of Liverpool FC. The red mantra of success would once again see the flow of League Titles, FA cups and Charity Shields. Kenny Dalglish saw his affiliation with Liverpool Football Club grow deeper and stronger. Dalglish not only imbedded himself in Liverpool history as a great footballer and manager but in the hearts and minds of all Liverpool fans as King Kenny.
The impact of King Kenny could not be felt any clearer when during the home game against Wolverhampton Wanderers -29th December 2010, when The Kop made the call to their favourite son. He answered that call on 10th January 2011 and returned to his throne.
There had much talk of Dalglish being out of the game and whether he still had what it takes to manage at the highest level. We at The Asian Kop were not surprised to see the turnaround in fortunes of our beloved club. Steering the club from the botton half of the table to the brink of European football underlined the pedigree of this great man.
The grey cloud that had hung over Anfield over the past year had been lifted and the beaming smile of Kenny Dalglish, now lit up all of Anfield.
Kenny Dalglish – The Player 1977-1990
With the Kop still reeling from the shock of departure of Kop Idol Kevin Keegan to Hamburg, questions were being raised as to who would fill the void left by Keegan? Cue Kenny Dalglish, Bob Paisley signed Kenny Dalglish from Celtic for £440,000 in August 1977. A deal that in years to come would prove priceless in the history of Liverpool FC.
Kenny Dalglish was quick of the mark in his Liverpool career, scoring on his league debut against Middlesborough. During his debut season Dalglish went on to score 31 goals in all competitions. But the pick of the bunch, was arguably Kenny Dalglish’s winner in the European Cup Final 1978.
The stage was set, European Cup Final at Wembley in front of a capacity 92,000. With scores tied 0-0 and 25mins remaining on the clock, Cue Dalglish, latching on to a precision threaded pass from fellow Scot Souness, Kenny masterfully chipped the oncoming goalkeeper. The Scot proved his class and in scoring the winning goal, secured Liverpool’s second European Cup.
As a player Dalglish won 6 league titles, 3 European Cups, 1 FA Cup, 1 Super Cup, 5 Charity Shield and 4 League Cups. He was named Footballer of the Year by the Football Writer’s Associaton on two occasions (1977-78 and 1982-83). In his 259th appearance for The Reds, Dalglish notched up his 100th League goal for Liverpool in November 1983.
Kenny Dalglish is widely considered to be the greatest player ever to don the red shirt of Liverpool and he was crowned number one in the online poll ‘100 players who shook The Kop’. Dalglish found himself topping the poll ahead of the likes of Billy Liddell, Steven Gerrard, John Barnes, Jamie Carragher, Ian Callaghan and Ian Rush.
Dalglish made 515 appearances for the reds scoring 172 goals in the process. His striker partnerships with David Johnson and Ian Rush drove fear into defenders.
Dalglish – Liverpool Manager – 1985-1991
In his first full season as manager, Dalglish was to deliver more silverware. Liverpool went on to do the league and FA Cup double. The league was wrapped up in fitting style with Kenny Dalglish scoring the goal that ensured Liverpool’s 16th league title in a 1-0 victory on the final day of the season. That iconic image of Dalglish’s beaming smile at Stamford Bridge had rubber stamped Liverpool becoming Champions of England once again.
A few days later the FA Cup final followed and Everton were the opponents. Although Ian Rush scored two goals with finishing of the highest order, it was the vision and presence of mind of Jan Molby who played an important part in setting up all three goals.
The triumph of the 1986 double was to be followed by league titles in 1988 and 1990. Liverpool narrowly missed out on another double in 1988 but returned to Wembley the following year to defeat Everton in the FA Cup Final.
With the demands of management, Dalglish made less appearance for The Reds. His last appearance (aged 39) was on as substitute for Jan Molby at Anfield against Derby County on the 1 May 1990.
In February 1991 Dalglish resigned as manager sending shockwaves throughout Anfield. During his first managerial spell at Anfield, Kenny Dalglish brought 9 trophies and was named Manager of the Year on three occasions. The void of past players tends to be filled, Keegan was replaced by Dalglish, Torres replaced by Suarez but it has often been felt that Dalglish-The Manager was irreplaceable and in years to come this void was never quite filled.
The Return of The King
After the start one of the worst campaigns in Liverpool’s illustrious history, The Kop called for change, and change was to come. Kenny Dalglish returned to as Liverpool FC Manager to the delight of millions throughout the world.
Dalglish was to enjoy the successes of past years with Kuyt scoring a hat trick against Man Utd. The last time this feat achieved was under Dalglish with Peter Beardsley being the hat trick hero then. Liverpool chalked up a record 2-5 victory at Craven Cottage, something which had not been seen in years. After being appointed as the permanent manager for a second time, “Unfinished business” is the message that came from Dalglish. Those of a Liverpool disposition know exactly what that means. The rebuilding programme is truly well under way.
Honours as a Player:
Division 1 Champion : 1978-79, 1979-80, 1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1985-86
FA Cup Winner: 1985-86
League Cup Winner: 1980-81, 1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84
Charity Shield: Winner: 1979, 1980, 1982, 1977 (Shared), 1986 (Shared)
European Cup Winner: 1977-78, 1980-81, 1983-84
European Super Cup Winner: 1977
Honours as a manager:
Division 1 Champions: 1985-86, 1987-88, 1989-90
FA Cup Winner: 1985-86, 1988-89
Charity Shield Winner: 1988, 1989, 1986 (Shared) 1990 (Shared)
League Cup Winner: 2012
Kenny Dalglish signings 1985-1991: