Kenny Dalglish

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Kenny Dalglish

Kenneth "Kenny" Mathieson Dalglish MBE (born March 4, 1951, Dalmarnock, Glasgow, Scotland) is a former Scottish international football player. He was famous for his successes with Celtic in the 1970s and with the English club Liverpool in the 1970s and 1980s. He is widely-regarded as the greatest British player of his generation. A prolific goalscorer, he was the first to score 100 league goals in both the English and Scottish leagues.

More recently, Dalglish has also enjoyed success as a club manager: he is one of only a handful of people to have won the English League Championship as a manager with two different clubs. He was also the first man to win 100 caps for Scotland and won a total of 102 caps. With 30 goals, he holds the scoring record for his country jointly with Denis Law.


Playing career

Dalglish grew up supporting Rangers. Though born in Dalmarnock in the East End of Glasgow, he was brought up in the docklands of Govan, just a stone's thow from Ibrox.

He wanted to join his idols at Rangers, but the call never came. He had trials at Liverpool and West Ham, but they came to nothing. And so it was that Dalglish, the Protestant son of an engineer, found himself playing for the Catholic Glasgow Celtic.

His signing, on a provisional contract in July 1967, was not without amusement. Jock Stein, the legendary Celtic manager, had sent his assistant Sean Fallon to see Dalglish and his parents at their home. Dalglish was farmed out to a Celtic nursery side, Cumbernauld United, and he also worked as an apprentice joiner. By the following year he had turned professional and was a regular member of a Celtic reserve team so good it was known as the Quality Street Gang.

It took Dalglish three years to establish himself in the first team. At that time Celtic were not only the best team in Scotland, they had become the first British team to win the European Cup after beating the Inter Milan. Stein took a great interest in the Dalglish, recognising his potentially outstanding talent. Eventually he gave him his chance in a benefit match. The result was Celtic 7 Kilmarnock 2. Dalglish scored six of the Celtic goals.

By 1972-73 Dalglish was Celtic's leading marksman with a seasonal tally of 41 goals in all competitions. And that Dalglish trademark of shielding the ball with his back to the goal had emerged. Dalglish was made Celtic captain in 1975-76, but it was a miserable year. Stein was badly hurt in a car crash and missed most of the season. Celtic failed to win a trophy for the first time in 12 years.

The next season Stein was back and Celtic did the Scottish Cup and League double. Dalglish, however, had made up his mind to leave. Celtic had won the European Cup before he had arrived at the club and Dalglish wanted the chance not just to savour European football, but to be where there was a real chance of success.

He had been a full Scotland international for six years, making his debut as a substitute in the 1-0 victory over Belgium in November 1971. He went to the 1974 World Cup in West Germany, but did not play well. Scotland were eliminated at the group stage, even though they were undefeated. That spring of 1977 he had scored in Scotland's 2-1 victory over England at Wembley.

Dalglish had enjoyed an enviable run at Celtic. Six Scottish Championships, two Scottish Cup-winners' medals and a tally of 167 goals. But it wasn't enough for him. He was ambitious and needed a new challenge.

He moved to Liverpool in 1977, for a then-record 440,000 transfer fee, to replace Kevin Keegan, who left to play for Hamburg in Germany. In his first season, Dalglish scored the winning goal in the European Cup final, against the Belgian club F.C. Bruges. He went on to become arguably the most influential member of the most successful club team in English football history, winning further League Championships and European Cups in a period stretching to the mid-1980s.

Managerial career

After the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985, in the wake of the resignation of manager Joe Fagan, Dalglish became player-manager of Liverpool. He coached them to their first-ever "double" — winning the League Championship and F.A. Cup in the same season — in his first season, 1985-86. He continued as manager when he retired as a player, winning the League again in 1987/88 and 1989/90, and the F.A Cup in 1988/89.

Dalglish was also in charge of the club at the time of the Hillsborough disaster, in the 1989 FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest. He won many admirers for his exemplary dignity during this tragedy, and is still well-regarded by Liverpool supporters for this reason as much as for his on-field successes; ultimately, though, the trauma took its toll on his health, and he resigned as manager of Liverpool in February 1991.

Dalglish returned to management in October 1991, with Blackburn Rovers, whom he led into the English Premiership in his first season. After winning the Premiership in 1995, Dalglish "moved upstairs" to become Director of Football at Blackburn; this was a largely-symbolic role that freed up his time for golf and TV punditry. He parted company with the club at the end of the following season.

In Spring 1997 he took control at a third top-flight English club, once again replacing the departing Kevin Keegan, this time as manager of Newcastle United. Despite an initially strong performance, Dalglish's dismantling of one of the most exciting footballing sides in the Premiership lost him the support of the fans, and he was sacked by Newcastle early in August 1998.

In June 1999 he was appointed as Director of Football at Celtic, with his former Liverpool player John Barnes appointed as Head Coach. The 'dream team' of Dalglish and Barnes turned into a nightmare which saw Celtic knocked out of the Scottish FA Cup by Inverness Caledonian Thistle and finish 21 points behind their arch-rivals Rangers in the Scottish Premier League. Barnes was sacked in February 2000 and Dalglish was appointed caretaker manager until the end of the season.

Playing record

  • Celtic - 1969-1977, Liverpool F.C. 1977-1990 (including time as player/manager from 1985)
  • Scottish Championship 1969-1970, 1970-1971, 1971-1972, 1972-1973, 1973-1974, 1976-1977
  • Scottish Cup 1969-70, 1974-75
  • English 1st Division Championship 1978-1979, 1979-1980, 1981-1982, 1982-1983, 1983-1984, 1985-1986, 1987-1988
  • FA Cup 1985-86, 1988-89 (both as player-manager)
  • League Cup 1980-81, 1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84
  • European Cup 1977-78, 1980-81, 1983-1984
  • European Super Cup 1977
  • PFA Players' Player of the Year 1983
  • International Record 102 Caps, 30 goals (a Scottish record shared with Denis Law)
  • Member of the Scotland Football Hall of Fame
  • Liverpool Record 511 games, 172 goals

Managerial record

  • Liverpool - 1985-1991: League Championship 1986, 1988, 1990; FA Cup 1986, 1989
  • Newcastle United - 1997-1998:
  • Celtic (Caretaker Manager) - February-May 2000: Scottish League Cup 2000

External Links

Preceded by:
Kenny Burns
Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year
Succeeded by:
Terry McDermott
Preceded by:
Steve Perryman
Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year
Succeeded by:
Ian Rush

Template:End box

Preceded by:
Terry McDermott(caretaker)
Newcastle United Manager
Succeeded by:
Ruud Gullit

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