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A Tribute to the King - Kenny Dalglish

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Red Beret:
From The Kop End FB page:

--- Quote ---Sports presenter Richard Keys has called for former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish to be knighted for his “extraordinary” response to the Hillsborough tragedy.

The broadcaster, who worked at Radio City for four years from 1978 to 1982, recalled his visit to Anfield the weekend after the disaster to lay flowers.

While paying his respects, he encountered Dalglish, then the club’s player/manager, who took him to meet relatives and players and on to a memorial service at Tranmere’s Prenton Park ground.

He wrote in a post on his blog: “The scene in front of me was incredible. At this time more than half the pitch was covered in flowers. Thousands were pouring in to pay their respects.

“I don’t know how long I was there but as I was leaving I heard a familiar brusk Scottish voice ‘hey, where are you going?’ Initially I thought I’d been rumbled but as I turned round I saw Kenny Dalglish. ‘What are you doing here?’ was the next question. Kenny loved a wind up, but surely not at a time like this! Of course, I didn’t have to reply!

“We stood together for a while marvelling at what was unfolding before us. I think he told me he’d been on The Kop every day since the disaster. He knew where people had left things, teddy bears and the like. He knew the people who’d left them. It had got to him deeply. Remember, he was now player/manager.

“What happened next was extraordinary.

“‘Come and meet some people’, he said. He took me off to the players’ lounge where relatives of those who’d lost their lives, players, players’ wives, his wife Marina, counsellors, clergy - all sorts, were sitting talking, consoling each other and unburdening themselves.

“Kenny just wanted me to talk to people. I had no idea what to say or who to say it to, but it was hugely touching listening and sharing their stories.”

The former Sky Sports presenter said the Reds legend “was at the heart of everything” with wife Marina, adding: “It was incredible to see him and Marina organising everything - on the fly.

“Kenny went on to to make sure the club were represented at all 96 funerals of the Hillsborough victims. He and Marina were two of many remarkable people connected with the club at that time.”

Keys also spoke of his fury at the knighthood given to former Merseyside Police chief constable Norman Bettison, who was a chief inspector in South Yorkshire Police when the disaster happened.

He wrote: “Down the years I’ve watched many sportsmen knighted, some for outstanding achievement, some because politically it suited different governments to do so.

“It’s wrong, just plain wrong, that one of the perpetrators of the outlandish cover up over Hillsborough is Norman Bettison. I refuse to call him ‘Sir’.

“I don’t know what happens to the poor souls who fought such a brave fight for the 96 - the 96 that we knew about, but there were so many more victims left behind - but I do know this. Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish should be knighted for everything he’s done for the City of Liverpool down the years.

“And I’m sorry ‘old boy’ that I’ve been a touch indiscreet, but I’ve had to be. You’re a giant Sir Kenny.”
--- End quote ---

Kenny is already King of the Scouse Nation.

He doesn't need a knighthood from England.

Kenny was a special player, when he was on the pitch you never lost hope that you would score a last minute winner or equaliser. He was amongst an elite of sportsmen who win matches almost on their own. The Arsenal semi saga was perhaps the best example. He was a leader on the pitch.
I often hear in my work people giving 'inspirational' keynotes and it is almost boring to hear the phrase "managers do things right, leaders do the right thing"
Kenny was a leader! On the pitch, but more importantly off the pitch. Why were we so excited about his return - because he would lead and we knew we could follow. We trusted him to do the right thing. He was the greatest I ever saw, and I include Cruyff in that, because we were never beaten as long as he was there. Add in the personal cost of his leadership, and what he has given the people of this city is beyond a knighthood- and let's face it there are scumbags with knighthoods like Ingram, Bettison and others who are not fit to be in the same room.
He knows what he means to us.

He isnt called king kenny for nothing and is an absolute legend of a man.

I went to 'A Night with Kenny Dalglish' at the Empire last night with my dad and the topic of Hillsborough came up, framed mostly around how it was seen as being a main reason for him leaving his role of Liverpool manager...

He obviously spoke elegantly and poignantly about it. Anything I write here wont capture the sentiments as well as it should but I'll put some points that stuck with me below

That any feelings he had at the time pales in comparison to the fans, families and everyone who experienced the disaster. He didn't want sympathy or someone/something to blame for him leaving.

He did not see Hillsborough as being the main driving factor to him leaving Liverpool. That everything he experienced previously had built up and that ultimately when he was in the dugout he wasn't making the decisions he wanted to in his head. As soon as he had that then he knew he needed to step aside.

That opening up Anfield the day after was something that proved to him how much Liverpool was a well run club as it gave fans a place to go.

That he didn't go to every funeral (but his daughter Kelly said he went to at least half) but someone from the club was at every funeral

That he (and the players and wives and LFC staff) took just as much comfort from being with the families than they did from them.

That he completely understands the anger that still exists today towards the establishment and media (he wouldn't let off all the other papers and TV that reported the lies and not just 'that' paper).

That the club pleaded at the time to have the game played at Old Trafford (Peter Robinson had personally asked Man U if Old Trafford was available if needed and could be used and they said yes. The FA said no). Same as the request for Liverpool to have their kop stand.

Then he had a funny story about having to go to Walton prison to talk to the inmates who had read the lies in that paper and wanted to riot. He went and calmed them down saying that he would sort it and making sure they didn't write anything else bad about the city.

The main point he wanted to make is that he hates how football isn't being run with the fans in mind. That it happened then and it's happening today with reference to there being no trains for the Semi final at Wembley.


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