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A look at memorable moments in career of Sir Kenny Dalglish as he turns 70

Carl Markham, PA
·3-min read

Sir Kenny Dalglish celebrates his 70th birthday on Thursday, March 4.

Here, the PA news agency looks at a few of his memorable moments on and off the football field.

Signs for Liverpool (1977)

Kenny Dalglish and Bob Paisley enter Anfield
Liverpool manager Bob Paisley signed Dalglish from Celtic for £400,000 (Credit: PA)

After making 320 appearances and scoring 167 goals for Celtic, Dalglish was signed by Liverpool manager Bob Paisley for a British transfer fee record of £440,000 as a replacement for crowd favourite Kevin Keegan. Dalglish made an immediate impact, scoring on his debut in the Charity Shield against Manchester United at Wembley wearing Keegan’s old number seven shirt and also finding the net on his league debut a week later against Middlesbrough.

Wins first European Cup (1978)

Kenny Dalglish chips the ball over Brugge goalkeeper Birigir Jensen
Dalglish beats Brugge goalkeeper Birgir Jensen to score the only goal of the 1978 European Cup final (PA)

Dalglish’s place in Liverpool’s history was cemented by the end of his first season, which finished with him making 62 appearances and scoring 31 goals. The most significant of those was the famous dink over goalkeeper Birger Jensen – followed by Dalglish hurdling the advertising hoardings in celebration – at Wembley as Liverpool won their first European Cup 1-0 against Club Brugge.

Wins League and Cup double in first season as player-manager (1986)

Kenny Dalglish volleys home a shot against Chelsea
Dalglish scores the winning goal to clinch the league title at Chelsea a week before their FA Cup final victory over Everton wrapped up the double

After Joe Fagan’s resignation following the Heysel Disaster, Dalglish was handed the reins as player-manager. In his first season in charge he guided the club to their first league and cup double as Liverpool pipped Everton to the Division One title by two points, with Dalglish himself scoring the winner in a 1–0 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on the final day of the season. The Reds then went on to beat Everton in FA Cup final a few days later.

Hillsborough disaster (1989)

Kenny Dalglish, wife Marina and daughter Kelly at a memorial service for the victims of the Hillsborough Disaster inside Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral.
Dalglish and his wife Marina attended numerous funerals after the Hillsborough disaster

Dalglish was a full-time manager when the worst sporting disaster in British history unfolded in front of his eyes as 96 people were killed at Hillsborough in an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest. Liverpool would go on to win another all-Merseyside final at Wembley, which Dalglish still regards as his greatest memory. Dalglish and his wife Marina were the club’s public face in the aftermath of the disaster – attending many funerals, including four in one day – as they comforted and supported the families of the bereaved. The emotional investment eventually took its toll as Dalglish announced his shock resignation as manager in February 1991 after a 4-4 FA Cup draw at Everton.

Wins Premier League as Blackburn manager (1995)

Dalglish was persuaded to return to management by Blackburn owner Jack Walker, who bankrolled their rise from the second division to the top of the Premier League. Rovers lost to, coincidentally, Liverpool on the final day of the season but Dalglish was still able to celebrate a title win at his beloved Anfield as closest rivals Manchester United could manage only a draw at West Ham. In doing so, Dalglish became only the fourth football manager in history to lead two different clubs to top-flight league championships in England, after Tom Watson, Herbert Chapman and Brian Clough.

Knighted by the Prince of Wales (2018)

Kenny Dalglish kneels to be knighted by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace.
Dalglish was knighted by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace (PA)

An MBE since 1984, Dalglish was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s birthday honours in recognition of his services to football, charity and the victims of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, joining a list that includes England’s World Cup-winning manager Alf Ramsey, Bobby Charlton, Bobby Robson and Dalglish’s one-time Manchester United adversary Alex Ferguson.