Kenny Dalglish insists there was never any bad blood between him and Sir Alex Ferguson as the former Manchester United manager will attend a ceremony honouring the Liverpool legend on Friday.
Anfield’s Centenary Stand will officially become the Kenny Dalglish Stand on Friday ahead of Liverpool’s encounter with arch-rivals United this weekend.
Among the guests at Friday’s renaming ceremony will be Dalglish’s family, friends and former teammates, as well as Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton.
“His actions speak louder than 1,000 words with him and Sir Bobby coming over,” Dalglish said of Ferguson.
“They did exactly the same after Hillsborough. They were over here early. There is rivalry on and off the pitch but when it comes to something like that there is not even a doubt about it — they will be over here supporting us and hopefully we would do the same for them.
“Away from working, there has never been a problem with him. Never, ever been a problem.
A special day ahead for #KingKenny.
Watch live coverage of the official Kenny Dalglish Stand renaming.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 13, 2017
“We defended our football clubs and our fans as best we could. How can you criticise someone who is totally supportive of his club? That is what you want as a supporter — someone who is defensive of your club and wants to make a contribution. He made a massive contribution to Manchester United.
“If someone came to manage Liverpool and never stood their corner, I don’t think the punters would be happy with that. He was exactly the same for Manchester United.
“He represents his club fantastically well and I have tried my best to represent the club I was at. I don’t see anything wrong with that.
“After the end of the game, there was never any animosity or dissent from either of us. There would always be a drink.
“When I came back [for second spell as manager] and we had that first game at Old Trafford he shouted to me when I was walking on to the pitch ‘are you coming in for a drink after?’
“I said to him: ‘What do you mean? I’ve always been in for a drink!’ He said: ‘Aye, I know. But it’s changed a wee bit now.’ I said: ‘Not for me it hasn’t.’
“You never spoke about football. You never spoke about what happened out there. If you did, you end up arguing, don’t you?”
In May, Liverpool announced that they planned to rename a stand at Anfield after Dalglish, one of the club’s greatest ever players and two-time manager.
The decision was taken by owners Fenway Sports Group as part of Liverpool’s 125-year anniversary, and Dalglish, who is now a non-executive board director, initially thought he was in trouble when summoned to speak with principal owner John W. Henry and chairman Tom Werner.
“I went down to Melwood and up to Jurgen’s office and there was a laptop there. John and [John’s wife] Linda [Pizzuti] were on it and there was another one with Tom Werner on it,” Dalglish said.
“John started speaking and I thought: ‘Jesus, what have I done now?’ I thought I was in trouble and then he said they wanted to name the stand after me.
“He said as well as for the football, it was for the work done with the community with [his wife] Marina and the charity and everything. Obviously you don’t know what to say.
“I thought I was getting the sack again, but it was a happy story this time. I believe I get a car park space!
“Obviously for everybody, for all the family, it is an immensely proud that your name is on the stand. We only came here for football and to end up at that level is beyond everybody’s expectations and possibilities.
“For me to manage and play for the club was a great enough achievement and to get your name up on the stand it just goes beyond the realms of expectations for me.”
Glenn is ESPN FC’s Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.