The 66-year-old has been associated with Liverpool since 1977, following his £440,000 move from Celtic, and during his time as a player and two separate occasions as manager he won eight league titles, three European Cups, two FA Cups and five League Cups, scoring 172 goals in 515 appearances.
Off the field he played a key role in the aftermath of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster and he and his family continue to provide support to the victims’ relatives during the ongoing fight for justice. Dalglish and his wife Marina went to many of the funerals of the 96, and he ensured there was at least one Liverpool player at each funeral.
As a tribute Liverpool’s owners have decided, in the club’s 125th anniversary year, to bestow the naming honour on Dalglish, who with his wife set up the Marina Dalglish Appeal in 2005 – a charity which has raised millions for people who have been diagnosed with cancer on Merseyside.
Anfield already boasts tributes to Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley but this is the first time a stand has been named after any individual. It will be known as The Kenny Dalglish Stand, Liverpool confirmed.
“It is testament to Liverpool’s history and status that we are not lacking in truly great individuals, whose names could easily grace a stand at Anfield,” the club’s principal owner, John W Henry, said. “But in Kenny Dalglish we have a person who carries such immense significance to the fabric of this club, so it feels somewhat incumbent on us to recognise this in a manner that is befitting to the man.
“He is unique, not just to Liverpool but to the game in England as a whole, having achieved greatness as a player and then enjoyed such success as a manager. His record and trophies won on both fronts speak for themselves.
“However, Kenny’s contribution to Liverpool goes beyond goals scored, points amassed and silverware placed in the cabinet. His values are Liverpool’s values – he represents what is best about this football club.
“The leadership and solace he gave to individuals, the club and city as it tried to come to terms with the trauma and tragedy of Hillsborough transcended sporting achievement.
“His name is synonymous with our club, with our home and the city of Liverpool. Now it will be as visible as it is palpable.”
The official renaming ceremony will take place at a later date this year.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010
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