Main Listening Report: Kenny Dalglish

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On this week’s main report profiles Kenny Dalglish, who last week took over as manager at Liverpool from Roy Hodgson. Explanations of key vocabulary (in bold) can be found at the foot of the post.

The big news last week, in England anyway, was the return of Kenny Dalglish as Liverpool manager. His appointment pushed most other footballing news out of the headlines and was compared to a messiah returning to his true home. Indeed, amongst Liverpool fans Kenny Dalglish is known as King Kenny and recognized by most of them as their best ever player.

The Scot, born In Glasgow, first played professionally for Celtic and had eight successful years playing in the green and white hoops of the Scottish side. He came to Liverpool in 1977 as the replacement for Kevin Keegan, a player also idolised by the Kop, who had moved to the Bundesliga to play for Hamburg. Most thought he would be a hard act to follow, but Dalglish took up his mantle and the number 7 shirt effortlessly as he struck up a great strike partnership with Ian Rush.

As a Liverpool player he won three European cups in 1978, 1981 and 1984, a hatful of League titles (six) and FA Cup and 4 League Cups scoring 118 league goals in 355 appearances. But perhaps what makes him not just a great player but a great figure in the history of British and European football is that he also went on to win titles and trophies as a player-manager and then as manager of the Reds.

After the Heysel tragedy, where 39 people died, the then Liverpool coach Joe Fagan ended his career and Dalglish took up the reigns to continue the tradition of the Boot Room – a reference to how Liverpool managers since Shankly in the 1960s had come from inside the club. In his first season in charge, Dalglish, as player manager, won the double and continued to win trophies while building one of the most exciting teams in the English League at the time, with the likes of Beardsley, Barnes, and Aldridge. But his managerial time at Liverpool was to be defined by another tragedy, this time the deadly crush at Hillsborough where 96 Liverpool fans died in May 1989 in an FA Cup semi-final. The event devastated Dalglish and the emotional toll meant he resigned as manager in February 1991.

As a player, Dalglish was known for his ball control, vision and finishing. As a manager, he brought three more titles to Anfield and also went on to win a title at Blackburn in the Premier League, as the only manager not from Manchester United, Chelsea or Arsenal to do so in the Premier League era.

And now he’s back at Liverpool, at Anfield, at home. Liverpool fans will be hoping they will have more dreams and songs to sing about King Kenny and how his team plays.


appointment : naming, selection, choosing

idolised: treated like a hero, worshipped

a hard act to follow: difficult to copy, hard to emulate

strike up: make, create, forge

a hatful: many, a lot

take up the reigns: continue the same work as a predecessor, take control

the emotional toll: emotional stress, psychological stress

finishing: ability to score goals

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I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
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Listening Practice: Short Reports (2006-2016)Episode 77