Kenny Dalglish

Date of Birth: 04 Mar 1951

Birthplace: Glasgow Scotland

GAMES: 307

WON: 187

DRAWN: 78

LOST: 42

 

 

 

STAFF HONOURS:

First Division champions 1985-86, 1987-88, 1989-90

FA Cup 1986, 1989

FA Charity Shield 1986 (shared), 1988, 1989, 1990 (shared)

PROFILE:

When Kenny Dalglish was installed as the club's first-ever player/manager in the summer of 1985 he was already regarded as the undisputed King of the Kop.

His impact on the playing field had been nothing short of sensational and yet now, in the aftermath of the Heysel Stadium tragedy, the club was looking to him to reproduce his genius on the pitch in the dug-out.

It was a big ask for someone who was just 34, but then, Kenny Mathieson Dalglish was not your average man.

He went on to make management look easy and despite a difficult start to his first season at the helm, he led the club to their first ever league and FA Cup double - the fact that both came at the expense of Everton made the achievement all the more sweet.

His return to the side during the run-in to the momentous 1985-86 campaign proved he could juggle the two roles perfectly, and it was perhaps fitting that he was the one who scored the winning goal at Chelsea to secure the championship.

Gradually, but somewhat inevitably, his appearances for the Reds became less frequent over the next few years as he concentrated more on the managerial aspects of his dual role, but there was still the odd flash of brilliance to revel in as the master sought to teach his apprentices.

While his first season in charge was one of tremendous success, his second ended empty-handed. It was a frustrating period for Liverpool and many wondered how Dalglish would fair in rebuilding a side that had just lost the goalscoring genius of Ian Rush to Juventus.

The answer was simple - he excelled.

In came John Barnes and Peter Beardsley, to add to the mid-season acquisition of John Aldridge, as the Reds not only set about reclaiming their place at the summit of English football but also began to play some of the most entertaining football ever seen at Anfield.

The 5-0 win at home to title rivals Nottingham Forest in April 1988 was the perfect example of the sublime - but winning - style Dalglish had instilled into his team.

The championship was won at a canter and the only low point was that a second league and FA Cup double was not clinched, after Wimbledon produced one of the shocks of all-time to win the final by a 1-0 scoreline.

The close-season brought with it another major surprise for Kopites, but this time it was a good one, as Dalglish's old strike partner, Rush, returned to the fold after just one season in Italy.

However, the 1988-89 season would be marred by a tragedy that would shake the very core of Liverpool Football Club as 96 fans lost their lives ahead of an FA Cup semi-final clash with Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough.

It was a dark period in our history and one that would eventually take its toll on Dalglish the manager.

After a period of mourning, the Reds went on to, fittingly, claim the FA Cup courtesy of a 3-2 win over neighbours Everton in the final.

And it looked as if a fantastic finish to the season would see them crowned champions until a last-gasp goal from Arsenal's Michael Thomas gave the Gunners a 2-0 win at Anfield and snatched the title away from L4.

It was a sad end to a difficult season and despite a tough opening to the 1989-90 season Kenny would once again rise to the task, inspiring his team to the title - our 18th and final one to date.

An ageing side were still the envy of the First Division and it looked like business as usual as the Reds notched up 10 straight league victories from the start of the following campaign.

However, the emotional turmoil of Hillsborough was taking its toll on Dalglish and as cracks began to show in the Reds' defence of the title he began to reach breaking point.

A 4-4 draw with Everton in an FA Cup fifth round replay at Goodison Park would prove to be the straw that broke the camel's back.

Liverpool led four times, but the defensive frailties that were hindering their bid to retain top spot saw the Blues snatch an undeserved draw.

The Reds boss looked a forlorn figure at the end of the match but it still came as a huge surprise when he announced his decision to resign just two days later.

It was a devastating day for the red half of Liverpool and one that took us years to come to terms with.

In a 13-year period with the club, Dalglish had proved himself to have the Midas touch. After achieving legendary status as a player, he duly cemented his name amongst the club's greatest managers, and few would argue that he is a worthy recipient of the title: undisputed King of the Kop.