As a player, he ‘shook the Kop’ and as a manager, he led Liverpool to their first trophy in six years. Sir Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish is undoubtedly a Liverpool legend. He was a massive contributor to the most successful era that Liverpool had seen. He won a total of six league titles, three FA Cups, three European Cups, four League Cups, five FA Charity Shields and one European Super Cup.
Move to Liverpool
A superstar at Celtic, Dalglish managed to score 167 goals in 322 games for Celtic in total. Dalglish was signed by Liverpool for 440,000 GBP in 1977 which was a British transfer record at that time. Signed to replace Kevin Keegan, Dalglish hit the ground running very quickly by scoring on his league debut. In his very first season for the Reds, Dalglish played a massive 62 games and scored 31 goals with the most crucial goal coming when he scored the winning goal in the 1978 European Cup Final.
The next season he managed a personal best of 21 league goals and was named as the Football’s Writer’s Association Footballer. He did not miss a single match for Liverpool till the 1980-81 season. However, he endured a difficult 1980 season with only eight goals to his name. Although the pains were eased with another European Cup and Football League Cup. The next season he bounced back with 13 goals as Dalglish won his third league title with Liverpool.
Dalglish’s partnership with Ian Rush was another massive reason for Liverpool’s success. He was named the PFA Player of the Year in the 1983 season. After Liverpool manager, Joe Fagan retired, Dalglish became the player-manager of the team. Although Dalglish remained a regular player, his goal-scoring prolific times were slowly halting down and he started to give chances for the younger players. Dalglish started himself for only 21 games in the 1985 season which further decreased to 18 and then played only twice in the 1987 season. Dalglish’s last appearance came on May 1990 where he came on as a substitute.
Return to Liverpool
Dalglish left Liverpool on February 1991. After that, he went on to manage Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United and Celtic.
He was brought back to the Liverpool setup by Rafa Benitez with a job in the club’s youth academy. After Benitez’s departure and Roy Hodgson’s disappointing results, Liverpool fans wanted to see Dalglish as the manager of the club.
Dalglish was soon appointed as the caretaker manager on January 2011 and oversaw the transfer of Fernando Torres to Chelsea for 50 million bringing in Andy Carroll from Newcastle and Luis Suarez from Ajax. Every fan and critic subsequently praised the moves as Dalglish established authority at the club.
He was made the permanent manager on May 2011 signing a three-year contract. He went on to win the League Cup in 2012 and lost the FA Cup final in 2012. However, poor performances in the league meant Dalglish’s contract was eventually terminated.
Not only a great player but a superb manager as well, Sir Kenny Dalglish is a true legend not only for Liverpool and Celtic fans but for the entire sport of football as well. His memorable and trophy filled career will be remembered for generations to come.