KENNY DALGLISH left Celtic for Liverpool in a British transfer record fee of £440,000 on this day FORTY-SIX years ago.

Author Alex Gordon has the inside story of a dramatic evening in the aftermath of the fans’ favourite’s final appearance in the green and white hoops.

The rumours concerning Dalglish’s future had been flying around with reckless abandonment throughout the summer

There was a complete shutdown on the speculation at Parkhead with manager Jock Stein refusing to even acknowledge the possibility of an exit of the club’s hottest property while the player, as you would expect, saying nothing about the prospects of a shift across the border.

This is an edited version of a chapter as it appeared in Alex’s first newspaper memoirs, ‘Jinx Dogs Burns Now Flu, published by Ringwood in 2015.

Please enjoy.


KENNY DALGLISH played his last game for Celtic, a friendly against Dunfermline at East End Park on August 10 1977.

The guessing game of ‘will-he-or-won’t-he?’ was now into overdrive. Of course, I have heard all sorts of fanciful notions put forward about the player’s move to Liverpool.

They are rare and varied and, mainly, ludicrously inaccurate. Transfers and all the subterfuge, innuendo and nonsense that go with them can often take on an absurd life of their own.

Some of the ‘informed sources’ who know all about such-and-such, the inside track are wearisome characters who would be better off dwelling on a desert island where they could bore the hell out of a coconut.

Here is the REAL story about the night Kenny Dalglish left Celtic for Anfield for £440,000, at that stage the highest transfer fee in Scottish football history.

ON THE MOVE…Celtic idol Kenny Dalglish displays poise, composure and control – the qualities that made him worth £440,000 to Liverpool.

I was Chief Sports Sub-Editor of the Daily Record and working that evening while hoping to escape the editorial at the back of 10.30pm. I had been at my desk since 2pm and had worked through my break. I was beginning to wilt a little.

However, it was obvious something was going on as far as Dalglish was concerned. For a start, although he had played against Dunfermline, the player had been stripped of the captaincy; Danny McGrain was the new Celtic skipper and it was easy to comprehend it was not a one-off appointment.

As the clock ticked and tocked its way towards 10.30pm, I was told to be prepared for a ‘stunning exclusive’. Apparently, we were sharing the story with the Daily Mirror and that meant only one thing to me; Jim Rodger, known as ‘The Jolly’, was on the case.

We would need to make quick changes in the editions. Via ‘The Jolly’, I was given a clue – Dalglish was signing for Liverpool. The fee had yet to be confirmed. The final signature had yet to be put on the transfer agreement. The back page and the main sports spread were redrawn and a slot was allocated on the front page for a huge cross reference.

Sports photographer Eric Craig had taken a superb snap of Dalglish following McGrain onto the pitch at East End Park. It was a clever photograph; the deposed skipper behind the new leader.

‘The Jolly’ and the Daily Record‘s Ken Gallacher were the only two reporters who were aware that Liverpool manager Bob Paisley and his chairman John Smith were tucked away in the crowd; two anonymous faces under bunnets who were about to capture Celtic’s prize asset.

THE LAST HURRAH…Kenny Dalglish, watched by Jock Stein, goes down the stairs leading to the East End Park pitch for his final appearance as a Celtic player in a 4-1 friendly win over Dunfermline on August 10 1977.

Dalglish returned on the team bus to Parkhead and then went to his father-in-law’s pub, The New Orleans, in Rutherglen for an aftermatch pint with goalkeeper Peter Latchford. A telephone call told him to return to Celtic Park.

Shortly afterwards, the record deal was completed and Dalglish was warned not to breathe a word to anyone. It would have been a bit of a surprise, then, when the newly-transferred player arrived at his home at Newton Mearns on the south side of Glasgow after midnight to be confronted by Eric Craig, camera at the ready.

Eric possessed a velvet tongue and persuaded Dalglish to pose for some pictures. That was the final piece in the jigsaw. We had our exclusive, Eric had his pictures, Kenny had his transfer and Liverpool had their man.

Everyone was happy. Except, of course, the Celtic fans who would learn the following morning via the back pages of the Daily Record and Daily Mirror they had lost their best player.

* DON’T miss ALEX’S ANGLE, the exclusive weekly column with insider knowledge – only in your champion CQN.





Click Here for Comments >

About Author