Kenny Dalglish Biography

Coach, Soccer Player (c. 1951–)
Scottish soccer legend Kenny Dalglish was a star striker for Celtic and Liverpool before becoming a successful manager.


Kenny Dalglish was born on March 4, 1951, in Glasgow, Scotland. A star striker for Celtic before becoming a two-time FWA Footballer of the Year with Liverpool, Dalglish was the first player to score 100 goals in both Scottish and English soccer. Named player-manager late in his career with Liverpool, he went on to managerial and executive roles with Blackburn, Newcastle United and Celtic.

Early Years

Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish was born on March 4, 1951, in the Dalmarnock section of Glasgow, Scotland. His family eventually moved to Govan, the same neighborhood that produced fellow soccer icon Sir Alex Ferguson. Dalglish began playing organized soccer as a goalkeeper, but he was soon moved to the offensive side and showed enough talent to be selected for the Scotland Schoolboys Under-15 team.

Dalglish was given a tryout by Liverpool F.C. in 1966, but failed to make enough of an impression on his future club. He instead signed a year later with Glasgow Celtic.

Playing Career

Kenny Dalglish spent his first season on loan to Cumbernauld United, and then made his debut with the Celtic senior team in September 1968. It took a few years for the talented striker to become a regular, but he soon proved invaluable with his impeccable ball-control skills and scoring ability. With Dalglish leading the charge, Celtic won four First Division titles, four Scottish Cups and four League Cups from 1971 to '77.

Dalglish joined Liverpool in 1977 for a transfer fee of approximately $768,000 (440,000 pounds), then a record sum between two British clubs. He made an immediate impact on his new fans by scoring in his first League and home games, and then provided a fantastic finish to the season by netting the lone goal against Brugge to win the European Cup. Over the next six years, "King Kenny" led the Reds to two more European Cups, five English League titles and four League Cups, twice winning FWA Footballer of the Year along the way. He scored his 100th goal for Liverpool in 1983, becoming the first player to reach that mark in both Scottish and English soccer.

In 1985, Dalglish was named player-manager of Liverpool. He validated the decision by guiding the club to its first double at the end of the season, and was at the helm for two more League titles and another League Cup. The veteran striker made his last appearance as a player in 1990, but remained as Liverpool's manager until abruptly retiring in February 1991.

In addition to his club career, Dalglish appeared in the 1974, '78 and '82 World Cups en route to a Scottish-record 102 caps, and his total of 30 goals in international play ties him with Denis Law for their country's top spot.


Named manager of the Second Division Blackburn Rovers late in 1991, Dalglish oversaw a successful campaign that earned his club a promotion to the Premier League. He guided Blackburn to the League championship in 1995, and then became the club's director of football for a year before departing. He spent a short stint as Newcastle United's manager, followed by a season as Celtic's director-turned-manager.

Dalglish rejoined Liverpool in July 2009 to help run the youth academy and serve as an ambassador, but found himself back in his familiar managerial role in early 2011. Despite leading the Reds to a League Cup victory in 2012, he was dismissed at the end of the season.

Personal Life and Legacy

Dalglish has four children with his wife, Marina. After she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003, the family founded The Marina Dalglish Appeal to raise resources for cancer treatment.

Dalglish has been inducted into both the Scottish and English Football Halls of Fame, and in 2009 he was named the greatest striker in postwar British football by FourFourTwo magazine. Universally recognized as one of the sport's most accomplished players, he will always be "King Kenny" to the Liverpool faithful.

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