Sir Kenny Dalglish fought back the tears as he provided an emotional speech upon receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC Sports Personality.
The Liverpool great was joined on stage by his family and former teammates, receiving the award for his services in football and with recognition to his role in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster, when he and his wife, Marina, attended dozens of funerals, often multiple on one day.
Dalglish, who made 515 appearances for Liverpool, winning six league titles and three European Cups, won the domestic double in his first season as player-manager in 1986, and managed the club for 381 games across two spells.
Dalglish’s speech was typical of the man the Kop call King Kenny, with humility and humour in equal measure.
Also attending the awards ceremony was fellow Scot Andy Robertson, with the Liverpool left-back and current Scotland captain writing on his Instagram: “An honour and a privilege to be part of Sir Kenny’s big night. Congratulations on your lifetime achievement award. There could be no more worthy recipient.”
Sir Kenny’s Speech in Full
"That's the best team I've got." ??
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) December 19, 2023
“I’m very grateful to the BBC for choosing me to get this award. I will treasure this dearly.
“As you saw from many clips there, it’s really a thank you speech from me to the people involved – none more so than the people here behind me [his family].
“All we did with the football was to try and make people happy. The best way to make them happy was to get results. Fortunately, we managed to do that a few times.
“If they enjoyed us winning, it’s not a fraction of the enjoyment we got for the support they gave us.
“The football clubs that have supported me, starting off with Celtic, Liverpool and then on to Blackburn and then ended up back at Liverpool, I will always be entirely grateful for the people who stood by me and gave me a job. It’s not about taking part for me, it’s about winning. Fortunately, for me, I was able to do that.
“I’m going to be a wee bit emotional now,” he said, becoming close to tears before joking in typical Kenny style: “Marina [his wife] wrote that bit.”
“Thank you very much for the award. These days, I’ve got a job at Liverpool as a non-executive director – I don’t know what it means, but I’ve got a job!
“I would just like to thank Fenway Sports Group for taking me back in and I’m quite fortunate that when I went back in, we won a trophy. That was brilliant for everyone at Liverpool, to give them a lift.
“They mentioned Hillsborough there, everybody knows what went on. The people at Hillsborough are the ones who are more important than football.
“What they did for the football club and supporting us, we reciprocated when it was our turn. As they say, You’ll Never Walk Alone.”