Well that took a minute, didn’t it? Finally, the man known throughout Merseyside as King Kenny finally received a knighthood from the Queen as part of her birthday honors.
Sir King Kenny was recognized for his fantastic football record with Celtic and Liverpool Football Club, as both player and manager, as well as his charity work, and his incredible support for the families of the victims of the Hillsborough tragedy.
The official citation reads: “He was Liverpool manager at the time of the Hillsborough Disaster in 1989. He selflessly made himself available to the families of the bereaved, attending most of the funerals, organising hospital visits, and attending annual memorial services held at Anfield. He has been a steadfast supporter of the families in their quest for and throughout the Hillsborough Inquiry, and was granted Freedom of the City of Liverpool in recognition of his work. He is the co-founder of The Marina Dalglish Appeal, his family’s cancer charity which opened the £1.5m Centre for Oncology at University Hospital, Aintree in 2007 and which has raised over £10m in total.”
The typically laconic Dalglish remained true to form, admitting that he was “humbled but gratified” by the honor. He also joked that he thought the citation, when it arrived, “was a tax bill.”
“It won’t make any difference to me, I’ll just maybe need to change my passport!” he continued in an interview for Merseyside Radio. ”But just because we’re a wee bit embarrassed about it doesn’t underestimate how pleased and proud we are to have received it. I hope everyone who came into our lives enjoys it as well.”
Fans of Liverpool Football Club the world over didn’t need the Queen’s blessing to understand the impact that Sir Kenny has had on Merseyside. His banners are hung and his name sung with pride every week inside of Anfield.
It is gratifying, however, to see Sir Kenny finally receive the recognition that he deserves — even if he’ll always be King Kenny to us.