Liverpool - Top 30 players - Number 1

Kenny Dalglish Watches On

Kenny Dalglish was not just a great player, he had two spells as manager as well.

There is an argument that Kenny Dalglish could be the club's greatest ever figure having played for the club, managed it twice, worked at the academy, became an ambassador, and on a human level led Liverpool through its darkest tragic period after the Hillsborough disaster.

Signed from Celtic for £440,00 in 1977, he was the replacement for Kevin Keegan, who left the club that summer following the Reds first European Cup success. Some were a little worried about the departure of Keegan but they needn't have been given what they got as a replacement in Dalglish.

He started life well for the Reds, finding the net in the Charity Shield clash with Manchester United before scoring in each of his first four league games but would miss out on the league title in his first season, with Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest shocking the division. But his first season will be remembered for the delicate chip over the goalkeeper that allowed Liverpool to retain their European crown at Wembley in a 1-0 win over Club Brugge.

The following season would see Dalglish win the league title with the Reds, as he found the net on 21 occasions in the league, and would pick up personal accolades by winning the Football Writers Player of the Year in 1979, a feat he would repeat in 1983 when he also picked up the PFA's version of the award.

More success would follow in the form of league titles, another European Cup and three consecutive League Cups before Bob Paisley stood down as manager and handed over the reins to Joe Fagan - who won the treble of the League, European Cup and League Cup in 1984. Fagan announced he would retire at the end of the following season. His last game in charge was the 1985 European Cup final which Liverpool lost 1-0 to Juventus at Heysel in Brussels, but the events off the field before kick-off would put footballing defeat into context as 39 Juventus fans died after violence broke out on the terraces. 

Dalglish brought former boss Bob Paisley back to the club to work with him for the first two years, while Phil Neal felt he was overlooked for the manager's job.

The season would bring about Liverpool's first League and FA Cup double, with Dalglish scoring the goal that clinched the Championship at Stamford Bridge, while the Reds came from behind to beat Everton 3-1 at Wembley.

The following season would see Liverpool's title bid falter in mid-March with a run of losses including a defeat to Arsenal in the League Cup final, with Everton winning the league. Ian Rush would depart the club but Dalglish would create arguably the most exciting and best Liverpool side there has been in 1987/88, with John Barnes, Peter Beardsley and John Aldridge forming a formidable front three that romped to the title, but lost the FA Cup final to Wimbledon. 

Rush would return for the following season, but all football was overshadowed by the Hillsborough disaster which ended up taking its toll on Dalglish as he, along with his wife and members of the squad acted as counsellors for the bereaved and survivors. On the pitch, Liverpool would win an emotional all-Merseyside FA Cup final, while the league title was denied as they lost 2-0 to Arsenal on the final day of the season, handing the title to their opponents on 'goals scored' in the process. 

Liverpool would win the title the following season where Dalglish would make the last of his 515 appearances, scoring 172 goals. But in 1991 - after a dramatic FA Cup fifth round replay against Everton which finished 4-4, Dalglish would resign.

He would go on to have managerial success with Blackburn Rovers in 1995, and lead Newcastle United to an FA Cup final in 1998.

In January 2011, he would return to the managerial hotseat at Liverpool on a caretaker basis with the club in the bottom half of the table after disastrous start to the season under Roy Hodgson which saw them six points above the drop zone.

Such was the good job he did - leading the club to a sixth place finish, with only Chelsea picking up more points during that spell - he was given the job full-time.

Unfortunately he would only get the one season, but he would end a six-year trophy drought with a League Cup victory over Cardiff City on penalties, and would lead them to the FA Cup final only for the side to lose 2-1 to Chelsea. But the league form in the second half of the season would prove costly as Liverpool limped to an eighth place finish. Given his initial brief, he could leave with his head held high.

His roll of honour as a player consists of: Six League titles, three European Cups, four League Cups, one FA Cup.

As Liverpool manager: Three League titles, two FA Cups, one League Cup, three-time Manager of the Year.

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