101. Kenny Dalglish

101. Kenny Dalglish


Scotland’s most capped player of all time, Kenny Dalglish made his professional debut for Celtic in 1968 but did not establish himself as a regular first team player for a couple of years. His breakthrough season was 1971-72, when he scored more than twenty goals as Celtic won a league and cup double and Dalglish found himself in the Scottish national team for the first time, making his debut in a European Championship qualifier against Belgium. Further league titles followed in 1973 and 1974, as Celtic established a record of nine consecutive titles. Later in 1974, Dalglish played in the World Cup for the first time but Scotland suffered an agonising exit from the finals in West Germany, when despite remaining unbeaten they went out in the first round on goal difference.
 
With cup wins in 1974 and 1975, and a League Cup in 1975, the domestic success continued to come and when the team finally failed to win a trophy in 1975-76, Dalglish at least had the consolation of finishing as the league’s leading goalscorer. After another league and cup double in 1977, Dalglish was lured away from Celtic when European champions Liverpool needed a replacement for Kevin Keegan. In his first season in England, Dalglish scored the winning goal in the final as Liverpool retained the European title before suffering the disappointment of another early exit from the World Cup in Argentina.
 
Through the early 1980s, success continued to come to Liverpool with four league titles in five years, four consecutive League Cups and two more European Cups between 1980 and 1984. Dalglish also played in his third World Cup in 1982, although Scotland again failed to get past the first round. In 1985, Liverpool manager Joe Fagan retired and Dalglish was appointed player-manager. In his first season, he scored the title winning goal in the final game of the season and then saw his side clinch the double by beating Everton in the F.A. Cup final.
 
Another league title followed in 1988, but Dalglish’s life was changed by the tragedy of Hillsborough in 1989. Winning the F.A. Cup but agonisingly losing the league title in the month following the disaster, the strain on the manager was enormous and despite another league title in 1990, after which he officially retired as a player, Dalglish resigned early in 1991. He returned to management with Blackburn Rovers, who he led to promotion in 1992 and then to a Premier League title in 1995 before becoming Director of Football.
 
After a short spell with Newcastle United, which included defeat in the 1998 F.A. Cup final, he returned to Celtic as Director of Football but became temporary manager following the sacking of head coach John Barnes, helping the team to win the Scottish League Cup in 2000. After leaving Celtic, Dalglish kept a low profile in football and worked behind the scenes at Liverpool for eight years.
 
On 8th January 2011 Dalglish was appointed Liverpool’s new manager until the end of the 2010-11 season, following a poor start by Roy Hodgson.  His contract was further extended and Liverpool won the Football League (Carling) Cup in 2012.
 
However, despite also reaching the FA Cup Final, where Liverpool lost to 1-2 Chelsea, Dalglish was sacked as the club’s manager on 17th May 2012 following a disappointing 8th place finish and only amassing 52 points – a record low for Liverpool during the Premier League era.
101. Kenny Dalglish
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