NORMAN GILLER can’t believe his eyes (and ears) when the laconic new Liverpool manager is on TV.
I have to rub my eyes and ears every time I see Kenny Dalglish appearing in front of the television cameras in his role as born-again saviour of Liverpool. He smiles, he speaks, he jokes, he laughs.
Come with me back to February 1972. England under-23s had just been held to a 2-2 draw by Scotland at Derby’s Baseball Ground, and the fast-rising Celtic striker Kenny Dalglish had scored both Scottish goals on a disgraceful mudheap of a pitch.
I was there as a Daily Express reporter, and as Dalglish emerged from the dressing-room after his superb solo performance, I asked: “Have you ever played on a muddier pitch?”
“Nae comment,” he said, pushing me to one side as if I was an England defender trying to block his way to goal.
Ian Archer, brilliant Scottish-based reporter, told me: “Well done. You got two words out of him, which is a record.”
A great raconteur, Ian – sadly taken from us when he was just 59 – had a favourite Dalglish anecdote: “I was strolling through a crowded street in Glasgow when suddenly a familiar figure darted in front of me. It was Kenny Dalglish, who muttered one word: ‘Wisnae.’
“Then he raced off as quickly as he had appeared, with me mouthing after him, ‘Wisnae whit?’ I puzzled over this for hours and then recalled that in a match report the previous month I had suggested one of his goals for Celtic had been off-side.
“It was the most informative, piercing and lengthy interview that Kenny ever gave me.”
Now, the all-talking, all-joking 2011 model of Dalglish is in danger of becoming almost Shankly-like with quotes and quips.
I wonder if he would now tell me whether he had ever played on a muddier field than the notorious pigsty of a pitch at the old Baseball Ground.
Please read more of Uncle Norman’s cracking contributions in full HERE