InterviewSir Kenny Dalglish's legends game preview: 'Everybody just loves getting back together'
Sir Kenny Dalglish can't wait to reunite with friends old and new when he manages Liverpool FC Legends again at Anfield this weekend.
The Scot will lead a star-studded collection of former Reds against Manchester United opposition on Saturday, with kick-off at L4 scheduled for 3pm BST.
Liverpool lead 3-1 from the first leg of the Legends of the North showdown, and Dalglish is looking forward to another special occasion in aid of plenty of worthwhile causes.
The LFC Foundation charity match, presented in association with Forever Reds, raises vital funds for its programmes in the local area and beyond.
All proceeds raised from the game will support LFC Foundation's community programmes, as well as Forever Reds, Cash for Kids and IntoUniversity.
- Tickets for the game remain on sale and can be purchased online here, while disabled supporters can visit the Accessibility Hub for full sale details
- Premium tickets are available from £50 and hospitality tickets start at £130. Please visit here for more details
Read on for Dalglish's preview of LFC Legends v Manchester United Legends…
Kenny, you'll be back in the dugout at Anfield again at the weekend – how much are you looking forward to it?
Obviously it's much more enjoyable when you're playing but I think those days are well gone. It's the same for the lads, they love getting together, meeting up and having the stories relayed from when they were playing and just to take part and go and have a kick of the ball. The sad thing is sometimes you forget to look at the birth certificate before you come out, the movement's not there as what it was before! But they really enjoy it and it's great for them to get into it and play about. It's for a great cause as well – it's for people that are obviously a bit less fortunate than most of the other boys that are going to be there, if not all of them. It's enjoyable for them and hopefully enjoyable for the people that come along and watch.
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First-leg highlights: Man Utd 1-3 Liverpool
Going up against a Man United side, does it still feel the same in that you just can't stand the thought of losing to them?
Well, I think once you get on the pitch, it's the same for any game – that's the way they've been brought up in their lives. They wouldn't have been successful footballers if they enjoyed losing. As they say, 'Show me a good loser, I'll show you a loser.' They love it. They just love taking part and playing. Manchester United players will just be as enthusiastic and determined to get a result as our boys.
How long have you been thinking about your team selection, do you know your starting XI already?
If they're good enough to turn up, we deserve to give them a reasonable amount of time on the pitch, and that's all I've tried to do when we get together. Some of the lads, through no fault of their own, can only play for 15, 20 minutes – if there's somebody like that, we can cater for it. But they'll get as many minutes as they think they should get and it's just to be fair to everybody.
How much do you look forward to these days? Catching up with players that you've worked with before and in some cases not…
It's always great to get together, the banter's always there in abundance. The stories are the same but for some reason you still have a chuckle when they tell the same story that you've heard many times before. Their success is built on camaraderie – it's not an individual sport, it's a team sport. Everybody that's coming along has had a certain amount of success with Liverpool Football Club and they just love to get back together and play.
There's players coming in from all over the world – how special is it that they still feel that connection to the club even though they may have left decades ago?
I think once you've been attached to a football club like Liverpool, it's always going to be quite close to your heart. A lot of the boys are working elsewhere with other clubs, so when it's an international break they get an opportunity to come along as well and just come to say, 'Thanks for having us and thanks for your support.' Some people may have left and never got the opportunity to leave on their terms or say bye the way they'd liked to have done it. If they come along to play, it's an opportunity to show how much you've been missing it.
And it's always a good occasion for the fans. Without them, this game wouldn't be possible...
It's fantastic the way they support it. I think they realise how much it's appreciated, their support, and also I think they appreciate that it's for very, very good causes – and that's the most important thing. The club's always been about the community and looking after people less fortunate than ourselves, so it's a continuation of that. The LFC Foundation does a fantastic job.
You'll have seen the important work LFC Foundation does in the community…
I think this city has been absolutely fantastic towards the community – the charities that have succeeded and helped out financing a lot of things in the city, various charities. Forbes [Duff, LFC's club social responsibility manager] does a great job collating everything together to help people. The club's always had that train of thought. The money also goes to Forever Reds, which is for ex-players who may have fallen a wee bit on hard times and need some help. That's reassuring and it's also a reflection on how much the club has meant to a lot of people. When they get an opportunity to help, we'll try our best to help.
It's the first of two games at Anfield this weekend. Another great occasion awaits in the women's Merseyside derby on Sunday. Fans, if they can get to both, can make a good weekend of it...
The women had a fantastic result at Tranmere last week to beat Chelsea. It was a huge achievement. A local derby coming on the back of that, I'm sure they're all looking forward to it. I can assure them the pitch won't be churned up for them on the Sunday! It'll still be playable. And let's hope we get two results.
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