Hillsborough and Kenny comes full circle?

Although the team’s current position doesn’t suggest it, it’s been an eventful season so far.

This time the reality of the empty promises made by Hicks and Gillett struck home. The domino effect of their incompetence, together with other issues, finally manifested itself on the pitch with some poor performances which a one stage saw us in the relegation zone and, for the first time in many, many years, facing the prospect of no European football in 2011-12. Other teams namely, Spurs and Manchester City, made their move and appear well on the way to usurping us in the Premiership pecking order?

Perhaps there is light at the end of the tunnel? The jury is still out on the new owners, they replaced our manager and, sold our top striker. However, with Fernando still a Chelsea goal scoring virgin and with Carroll and Suarez settling in quite nicely thanks very much it looks like it might be good business.

However the biggest impact was the return of Kenny Dalglish to the helm albeit on a part time basis – what is keeping them from making it permanent? His return was a psychological boost and a welcoming comfort in times of despair and frustration. His impact on the team has been encouraging however today, the twenty second anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, football takes second place? If you’ve been frustrated about the dealings of Liverpool Football Club on or off the pitch over the last year(s) then today, should remind everyone that this is of secondary importance and that there is more to this great, great club than just smacking a ball about a park.

I wonder what Kenny is feeling today? Clearly 15th April will always be an important day for him but perhaps it has added significance now he is back at the helm? It must bring back memories that are perhaps slightly different to those he experienced when he wasn’t manager? No doubt Kenny will talk about those who suffered and the importance of remembering them and seeking the ever elusive justice they deserve. Of course this is one hundred per cent correct however, although he never seems to articulate it, he must also recall the toll the aftermath of Hillsborough had on him personally? It is well documented that this lead to him resigning as manager in 1991.

Kenny Dalglish was a football player and now a manager. He is not a grievance counsellor, or a public relations expert. His leadership should extend to running the team and getting results on the pitch. However at the time of Hillsborough he willingly displayed all these skills and qualities. He, his family and the Liverpool players threw themselves unselfishly into helping and supporting those touched by the disaster be they the victims themselves, their relatives or people who where there. They were the face of Liverpool FC at that time and it was an unselfish act, putting others first and even more admirable when you consider that they too were also stressed by the event too.

One can only imagine what they and Kenny went through. At the time of Hillsborough I had no kids, now I’ve two sons. Since they were born I’m more acutely aware of any story involving the death of or cruelty to a young person. I put myself in the parent’s shoes and I think I would feel if the victim was one of my sons. Dalglish, like any other parent, must have felt the same? So it is not surprising that, with all that exposure to grief and suffering, the events eventually took there toll on him?

Thankfully he has come through this and, in a roundabout way, back to us. I think Hillsborough probably caused Dalglish to change. After the disaster he said this.

“I realised that in all my years as a manager and player that I had miscalculated the impotence of the club to people. It was a mistake. I never fully appreciated the part we played in their lives. It’s not we and them it’s us”

We now see a less stressed more laid back Dalglish. He appears more than happy to be back I for one am more than happy to have him back Dalglish still talks about the importance of the club just as he did after Hillsborough however, no one should ever underestimate his importance to it? Yes for what he did on the pitch but more commendably off it when it was going through it’s biggest disaster. It hardly needs saying that were/are very privileged to have man like him with us.

God bless the 96 and justice.

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