Kenny Dalglish’s five finest moments in football – BBC News

Kenny Dalglish’s knighthood in 2018 means one of Britain’s sporting icons is now referred to as ‘Sir’, but to many he has always been ‘The King’.

From European Cups to every domestic honour on offer, the Scot has been responsible for orchestrating historic moments for Celtic, Liverpool and Scotland.

Now, 42 years on to the day he engraved his name into Liverpool folklore by scoring the winner at Wembley in the European Cup final, BBC Scotland looks at his five finest moments.

1978 European Cup final

When Kevin Keegan left Anfield for Hamburg in 1977, there was doubt cast about Dalglish’s ability to replace the fan favourite when Bob Paisley paid Celtic a then British record transfer fee of £400,000 for the Scot’s services.

But any burning concerns on the Kop were rapidly stamped out as the Glaswegian forward netted an impressive 31 goals in 62 appearances that season, with the 31st cementing his status as a Liverpool legend after just nine months at the club.

With just over an hour on the clock in the 1978 European Cup final, Dalglish kept his cool to send the red half of Merseyside into raptures, dinking the ball over the onrushing Birger Jensen in the Brugge goal to score the decisive winner.

The composed finish was typical of Dalglish, but any composure was non-existent after the ball hit the back of the net, with the Scot leaping over the advertising hoardings to celebrate with the sea of red behind the goal as Paisley’s men went on to lift their second European Cup in a row.

1986 double as player-manager

Dalglish would go on to win a further two European Cups and five league titles before becoming player-manager at the age of 35 in May 1986.

In his first season in charge, the league would go down to the wire as both Merseyside clubs battled it out at the top, and Liverpool travelled to Stamford Bridge knowing a win would crown them champions of England for the 16th time.

With 23 minutes played, Dalglish found himself free in the box. Similar to that moment at Wembley eight years prior, time seemed to stand still as the Scot took the ball down on his chest. Showing trademark composure, he guided the ball into the far corner to score another iconic goal that would deliver his 10th league medal as a player, and his first as a manager.

The following week, Liverpool and Everton would go toe-to-toe for another major honour, this time in the FA Cup final. After Gary Lineker’s first half opener, Dalglish’s men would turn the game around to run out 3-1 winners, as the club claimed their first ever domestic league and cup double in the his first year at the helm.

Kenny Dalglish with the FA Cup and Division One trophy

100th Scotland cap

The year 1986 would be quite a significant one for ‘King Kenny’. While guiding Liverpool to a first domestic double, Dalglish would achieve a historic feat at international level, gaining a remarkable 100th cap for his nation in March of that year.

Across a 15-year international career, winners against the Auld Enemy of England and iconic goals in World Cup finals flood the memory bank, but it might just be a friendly with Romania at Hampden on a wet Wednesday night that stands alone as Dalglish’s proudest moment in navy blue.

He was given the captain’s armband for the game by then interim manager Sir Alex Ferguson, before being presented with the illustrious 100th cap by World Cup winner Franz Beckenbauer.

Scotland would win the game 3-0 and Dalglish went on to register a further two caps before his retirement, finishing his international career with a record 30 goals. And although his scoring record is matched by Dennis Law, Dalglish sits on his own when it comes to caps with his 102, 11 more than the next best.

Beckenbauer presents Dalglish with a trophy to commemorate his 100th cap

1995 Premier League title at Blackburn

Dalglish left Liverpool in February 1991 and after an eight-month break from the game returned to management in October to guide Blackburn Rovers out of the second tier of English football.

The following season, Blackburn finished fourth in the all-new Premier League. They would go two better the season after, finishing runners-up to Manchester United, only to come out on top the following year.

With the formidable duo of Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton spearheading the Blackburn attack, Dalglish’s men defied the odds to win the top division and overcome Ferguson’s side in the process. A truly remarkable achievement for a club that were languishing in the second tier just three years prior.

The title meant that Dalglish was only the fourth football manager in history to lead two different clubs to English top-flight championships.

Dalglish celebrates with his Blackburn staff of Ray Harford and Tony Parkes

Nine-in-a-row at Celtic

Prior to his record move to Liverpool in 1977, Dalglish enjoyed great success in his home city.

The Scot racked up nine winner’s medals in his time at Celtic, including four league championships. But out of all the titles he won in Glasgow, none would have felt sweeter than Celtic’s coveted nine-in-a-row in 1974.

Following his introduction to the first team in the 1971-72 campaign, Dalglish became an integral part of Jock Stein’s iconic side. By netting over 80 goals across three campaigns, Dalglish contributed massively to three of Celtic’s nine successive league titles, and it was his all-important equaliser in the 1-1 draw with Falkirk in April 1974 that secured the Glasgow club’s historic ninth consecutive championship.

It is a record that is yet to beaten, and has only been matched by city rivals Rangers in the years up to 1997, something that the current crop of Celtic players will be looking to rewrite.

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