Over the course of his 65 year life, Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish MBE has done a tremendous service for the people of the city of Liverpool, Liverpool Football Club, Scottish Football, Sports world in general and especially the support he gave to the families of the Hillsborough tragedy in April of 1989 under extremely hostile circumstances by a police force blaming the families themselves for the chaos on that fateful day..
When the Hillsborough disaster of 1989 plunged a city into mourning by taking the lives of 96 of its own, Liverpool's family craved a leader, a beacon. As manager of the Liverpool Football team Dalglish was the man who held together a grief-stricken community. Dalglish helped the bereaved; comforting them and ensuring Liverpool were represented at every funeral, sometimes 5 a day. He was, Liverpool’s shining light in their darkest hour.
He’s also been involved with a lot of charity work. He and his wife founded the Marina Dalglish Appeal, which in 2007 reached it’s target of £1.5 million and opened the Oncology Centre at the University Hospital in Aintree. Dalglish often competes in the annual Gary Player Invitational Tournament, a charity golfing event which raises money for children's causes around the world
As far as his achievements in football go, his career spans 22 years, playing for Celtic and Liverpool, winning numerous honors with both. He is Scotland's most capped player of all time with 102 appearances, and also Scotland's joint-leading goal scorer, with 30 goals. Dalglish won the Ballon d'Or Silver Award in 1983, the PFA Player of the Year in 1983, and the FWA Footballer of the Year in 1979 and 1983. In 2009 the web site FourFourTwo named Dalglish as the greatest striker in post-war British football, and in 2006 he topped a Liverpool fans' poll of "100 Players Who Shook the Kop". He has been inducted into both the Scottish and English Football Halls of Fame.
Dalglish began his career with Celtic in 1971, going on to win four Scottish First Divisions, four Scottish Cups and one Scottish League Cup with the club. In 1977, Liverpool manager Bob Paisley paid a British transfer record of £440,000 to bring Dalglish to Liverpool. His years at Liverpool were among the club's most successful periods, as he won six Football League First Divisions, two FA Cups, four League Cups, seven FA Charity Shields, three European Cups and one UEFA Super Cup. For these achievements and his style of play he was given the name King Kenny by Liverpool supporters. Dalglish became player-manager of Liverpool in 1985 after the resignation of Joe Fagan, winning a further three First Divisions, two FA Cups and four FA Charity Shields, before resigning from Liverpool in 1991.
He returned to both Celtic FC and Liverpool FC in the latter half of his managerial career winning both respectively a Scottish League Cup and an English League Cup. He can also boast taking Blackburn Rovers FC to their first and only Premier League Championship.
Kenny Dalglish epitomises what is great about our club. He served us brilliantly as a player, taking up the mantle of Kevin Keegan and surpassing everything he'd done at the club, carving himself a place forever in the history of Liverpool FC.
Following on from his unparalleled success as a player he seemlessly moved in management and again took us to ever greater things including the club's first ever double and two FA cup wins over neighbours Everton.
During his time as manager, the club and the country as a whole suffered following on from the devastating tragedy of Hillsborough. Not only did he attend almost every funeral of the victims of the disaster, he worked tirelessly with the HJC to eventually get the government to review the evidence and move towards the families getting the justice they had fought for for so long.
The term 'Legend' is thrown around far too often these days, but in Kenny Dalglish it sits well, and in my view should be accompanied by a Knighthood for his services to Liverpool Football Club and the wider family of football.
To emphasize his efforts during the time of the Hillsborough disaster and after, Kenny Dalglish has shown outstanding support to all of the families concerned in the disaster, he met with them, counseled them and told them they were not alone.
Kenny Dalglish attended many funerals of the victims including four in one day and was greatly praised for the dignity and compassion he showed in the aftermath of the tragedy. Not only did he attend many of the lost fan's funerals, he also visited their families and offered support to them and offered them guidance in letting them know they would not walk alone. In the days following the tragedy the City united. Reds and blues came together. It is important to remember that not all of the 96 were from Liverpool. The wider Liverpool community came together as one. One Scotsman made sure nobody walked alone. The role of Kenny Dalglish in the aftermath of Hillsborough was immense. He carried a football club and a grieving city.
Since then, Dalglish has organized charity matches and rose awareness for 'justice for the 96' campaign which succeeded in the revelations of a police cover up on September the 12th 2012
We want the British government to take action and help Kenny Dalglish to be awarded a knighthood for all his work and support to the fans of Liverpool F.C, for Merseyside and the victims of the horrible events in April 1989 who are now appeased with the findings of the HIC on September 12th 2012.
For the reasons of his immense humanitarianism, leadership, charity work and his achievements in sports, I firmly believe that Kenny Dalglish deserves to be knighted in the Queens birthday honors list, following the second inquest on Hillsborough by the independent panel, but now there will be momentum following the verdicts from the warrington Inquest on April 26 2016.
Many deserving people receive knighthoods for services to sport, or to charity or to community, and Kenny Dalglish, through his actions these past years, is a candidate, in my opinion, in all three fields.