THERE will be an atmosphere of celebration at Anfield next Saturday.
Liverpool FC will be naming a stand after their greatest player and one of their finest managers, too.
The word genius can be overused in sport — but not in the case of Kenny Dalglish.
I met up with my old Blackburn boss again on Saturday at the funeral of former Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd and explained to my son, Will, about the incredible player he was meeting.
At 17, he will not have seen him live but has seen the videos and any young player who has not, should.
A player who could do everything and also as a manager, someone who could inspire you to great things.
Kenny won an incredible 15 major trophies as a player with Liverpool, including three European Cups, and a further seven as manager.
Of course I remember him best as the man who guided myself and Blackburn to the 1995 title.
While Ray Harford did most of the coaching Kenny was the inspiration.
He also taught me a major skill to get free of my man-marker.
Rather than running away from defenders, he showed me he would often back into them to get tight and then turn them and get away.
It was an art that paid good dividends against teams who were out to stop me.
It was not just as a manager but as a man that he inspired you.
The way he spoke to you, the personal touch he had with players not just as commodities but humans with families.
He had an understanding about what you needed as individuals.
It helped us at Ewood Park to take on the big boys of the game and win the title.
But it is of course at Liverpool where he is remembered best, which is why he will be bestowed the honour on Saturday of having a stand named after him.
It will leave many Liverpool fans misty-eyed for a time when they ruled football at home and abroad. A time when they truly were the greatest.
Not so now of course. It says everything about how far Liverpool have fallen that Kenny had to come back as a manager to give them their only trophy in the last 11 years — the 2012 League Cup.
They are a club who have lost none of the passion and rich history which sets them aside in this country from all bar Manchester United.
But they have certainly lost their place at the top table of football and that air of celebration on Saturday lunchtime could certainly turn very sour come the final whistle.
Manchester United are the visitors and since they last met at Anfield things have gone very differently for both clubs.
It is two years since Jurgen Klopp took charge with Liverpool lying tenth after eight games of the 2015-16 season.
Today they sit seventh after seven games — hardly giant strides.
Two cup finals, both of which they lost, and a return to the Champions League can be put on Klopp’s CV.
But really they have not improved since the day he took over.
He has a win rate of 49.5 per cent, which is less than Brendan Rodgers and also less than David Moyes when United sacked him.
Defeat to their bitterest rivals on Saturday, however, will be a lot more damaging than merely the effect it will have on personal statistics.
It will leave them ten points behind Jose Mourinho’s men and effectively end Liverpool’s title challenge before the clocks have changed.
There is every chance they will lose as well, given the respective form of the two teams.
Liverpool have one win from seven in all competitions while Manchester United have won nine and drawn one since their Super Cup defeat by Real Madrid.
It will be almost a year to the day Mourinho since last visited Anfield.
Just 12 months ago United were the underdogs trying to combat a team who had already hit four twice and five, in their opening seven games giving the Liverpool fans a sense that this could be their time again.
Mourinho completely stifled them on that last visit as the game finished goalless.
Back then the Portuguese coach was still getting to grips with his new club.
While they may have finished behind Liverpool in the table, they have two trophies to show for their work last season — the Europa League and League Cup — and return to Anfield joint-top of the table on points and favourites for victory.
Who knows, the occasion may lift Liverpool to victory.
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Yet too much under Klopp seems to be based on that call for passion and excitement.
They play one way and it is not going to win them the league — great going forward on their day but they simply cannot defend.
Mourinho, by contrast, has plotted a course to get his team back to the top.
He knows how to win even if it means shutting up shop.
So Liverpool fans will rightly acclaim their King as Kenny is honoured on Saturday.
But right now the glory days he enjoyed at Anfield are as far away as ever.
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