#1 KENNY DALGLISH
Name: Kenny Dalglish
Years at Liverpool: 1977 to 1990
Signed from: Celtic (August 1977)
First Division Championship (1978/79, 1979/80, 1981/82, 1982/83, 1983/84, 1985/86), European Cup (1978, 1981, 1984),
FA Cup (1986),
League Cup (1981, 1982, 1983, 1984),
Charity Shield (1977, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1986),
Super Cup (1977),
PFA Player of the Year (1983),
Football Writers Player of the Year (1979, 1983)
There can only ever be one King and the man who’s earned the right to take his place on the Anfield throne is the one and only Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish. Regarded by the majority of Liverpudlians as the club's greatest ever player, his all round stunning brilliance has been deemed to have shaken the Kop more than anyone else.
The Scotland international was brought in to replace the recently departed Kop idol Kevin Keegan, who'd moved to Hamburg earlier that summer. If any player could step into Keegan's illustrious boots it was Dalglish and fears some Liverpudlians may have harboured over their new purchase were quickly laid to rest.
Dalglish found the back of the net within seven minutes of his league debut for the Reds, against Middlesbrough at Ayresome Park, and followed that up by hitting the target again on his first appearance in front of the Kop three days later as Newcastle were beaten 2-0.
The new King of the Kop crowned his first season at Anfield by topping the club's goalscoring charts and chipped in with the only goal of the 1978 European Cup Final against FC Bruges at Wembley – a delicate dink over the keeper that was quite simply perfection personified.
In 1979, his supreme individual ability was recognised by the football writer's of England who voted the canny Scot their Football of the Year. It was a fully deserved reward for a player whose every touch had Kopites purring with delight.
With Rush taking over the mantle of chief goalscorer, Dalglish became the undisputed creator supreme and if assists were recorded back then, he'd have been the first name on everyone's Fantasy Football teamsheet. A double footballer of the year in 1983, he was without doubt the finest British-born player of his generation and rightly spoken about in the same tone as such world renowned stars from this era like Maradona, Zico, Platini and Rummenigge.
In the aftermath of the Heysel Stadium disaster he was a surprising but popular appointment as player/manager and fears that his new role would result in him spending more time on the touchline and less on the pitch were initially unfounded.
Gradually, but inevitably, his appearances became less and less over the next few years as he concentrated more on the managerial aspects of his dual role but there was still the odd flashes of brilliance to revel in as the master sought to teach his apprentices.
What Dalglish went on to achieve as Liverpool manager cemented his legendary status but that is for another series. He did more than enough during his playing career to be rightfully hailed as the greatest player in Liverpool history.
Kenny, we'd walk a million miles to have you in our team again. Long live the undisputed King of the Kop!
Sold to: Retired (May 1990)
Claim to fame: Scoring the winner in the 1978 European Cup Final
Did you know? He had an unsuccessful trial with Liverpool as a 15-year old in 1966, playing in a 'B' team defeat to Southport
Where is he now? Working tirelessly to raise funds for his wife's breast cancer charity
Jamie Carragher on Kenny Dalglish: "For me he's not just Liverpool's best player but probably Britain's best ever football person if you like. We're the most successful club and he's the best player so I don't think anyone beats him."
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Friday, October 20, 2006
#1 KENNY DALGLISH