August 10, 1977
Kenny Dalglish travelled to Liverpool this afternoon ready to become Scotland’s latest football export – and the costliest player in British football history. Celtic and Liverpool agreed a fee of £440,000 after secret talks late last night and the signing was being completed late this afternoon after Dalglish has had a medical check – and agreed his personal terms.
Liverpool manager Bob Paisley brought Dalglish to Anfield by car and before he left Glasgow this morning, the 26-years-old Scottish international said: “This really was the offer I could not refuse.”
Dalglish added: “There was no way I could turn down such a fabulous offer although I am very sad to be leaving Celtic. But I am happy to be going to such a great club as Liverpool.”
And Celtic manager Jock Stein said: “If Kenny had wanted to stay at Celtic Park I would have turned any amount of money offered for him. Now, where do I find another player like Dalglish?”
The deal was agreed late yesterday afternoon after Mr. Paisley and chairman John Smith made an M6 car dash to Scotland.
Dalglish looks likely to make his Liverpool debut in Saturday’s Charity Shield against Manchester United at Wembley – the ground where he starred for Scotland against England just over two months ago.
The previous transfer record was the £350,000 deal that brought Bob Latchford from Birmingham to Everton and sent Howard Kendall and Archie Styles in the opposite direction.
Now Liverpool, with money to spend after selling Kevin Keegan to Hamburg for £500,000 have plunged into the market in dramatic fashion.
They have bought a star to replace a star and Dalglish will immediately become a key figure in their bid to retain the European Cup next season.
For Celtic it will mean they have raked in nearly £1,000,000 from the sales of Lou Macari, David Hay and now Dalglish to English clubs.
The exciting Dalglish has been unhappy at Celtic for some time. Several English clubs have been linked with him but it was Mr. Paisley who moved quickly as the others watched.
Almost all the money Liverpool have received from Hamburg has been swallowed up by the Dalglish deal and it is now unlikely Mr. Paisley will be making any more big moves in the transfer market.
But he will by busy combing the lower divisions looking for a bargain buy of around £50,000 as an investment for Liverpool’s future.
The arrival of Dalglish at Anfield will mean that competition for first team places will be even fiercer. Already Ian Callaghan, Jimmy Case, Ray Kennedy and Terry McDermott are in competition in midfield.
Up front, Steve Heighway, David Fairclough, David Johnson and John Toshack, when he is fit again, are fighting for places, but this competition can only be good for Liverpool.
After reaching the heights last season by winning the League Championship and the European Cup, as well as going to Wembley in the FA Cup Final, the entire football world was wondering if Liverpool could motivate themselves for success again this season.
The arrival of Dalglish, a man with a world-class reputation, may be just the spark Liverpool need to set them off on the glory trail again.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: August 10, 1977; via http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) © 2018 Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited