LIVERPOOL, England — Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish will be given a knighthood as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Dalglish, referred to as “King Kenny” on Merseyside, will become Sir Kenny Dalglish in recognition for his contribution to football.
In a successful career that spanned over 20 years, the Scot played for Celtic and Liverpool, where he is regarded by some as the club’s greatest ever player. The 67-year-old also remains Scotland’s most-capped player with 102 appearances.
Dalglish also managed Liverpool on two separate occasions, firstly taking a player-manager role in 1985 before returning in October 2011. Between those stints on Merseyside, he guided Blackburn Rovers to the Premier League title in 1995 and then took over at Newcastle United in 1997.
“Obviously it was for others with more education and knowledge than myself to decide whether or not I deserved a knighthood and it goes without saying that I am hugely grateful to them for the decision that they have made,” Dalglish said in a statement.
“All I can say is that from my own point of view I am definitely no more deserving of an accolade like this than Jock Stein, Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley were.
“I am just fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time and I would like to dedicate this honour to them because without the standards that they set at Glasgow Celtic and Liverpool, individuals like myself would not have been able to thrive as much as we did.”
Away from football, Dalglish was in charge of Liverpool at the time of the Hillsborough disaster — where 96 Liverpool supporters died at the FA Cup semifinal in 1989 — and provided support and leadership in its aftermath.
Dalglish and his wife Marina also set up the “Marina Dalglish Appeal” in Liverpool back in 2005, with the charity raising over £10 million to improve cancer care on Merseyside.
“The most important thing to stress is that this honour is not a reflection of myself,” Dalglish continued.
“It is a reflection of everyone who has played a part in my life and my career. Nobody achieves anything alone, especially in football, and in my case, any success I have enjoyed has been due to the contributions made by my family, the players, coaches and managers that I was fortunate enough to work with and the supporters who backed me. This instance is no different.
“The enjoyment that I have derived from being involved in football for as long as I have is outstripped only by the sense that I’ve been hugely fortunate to have the right people around me at all times.”
Bishop of Liverpool, James Jones, and Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotherham, led the tributes for the impact Dalglish has had on others all across Merseyside.
“Kenny Dalglish showed truly exceptional pastoral care to the Hillsborough families from the day of the disaster,” Jones said.
“His humanity and compassion comforted and sustained the community of the bereaved and survivors, and indeed the city itself, in an exceptional way and over the long period in which they were not believed. He put their needs above his own reputation.”
Rotherham added: “I am delighted by the news that the King is to be knighted by the Queen.
“It is appropriate recognition of Kenny Dalglish’s unparalleled playing and managerial career in football, and of his many charitable efforts over the years, most notably in support of the Marina Dalglish Appeal — offering assistance to those with breast cancer and their families.
“April 15, 1989 changed Liverpool forever. Kenny stood by the Hillsborough families and survivors in their hour of need and he has been ever-present in the decades-long campaign for justice that followed.”
Glenn is ESPN FC’s Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.