This Day In Sport – Hampden Heralds King Kenny


Gareth Messenger
On March 26th, 1986, Kenny Dalglish won his 100th cap for Scotland in a 3-0 win over Romania. To date, he is the only player to reach that milestone for the Scottish national team.

He received his first call-up in November 1971, coming on as a substitute in a Euro '72 qualifying victory over Belgium. Although it took him over a year to get his first goal, he eventually scored 30 times for Scotland to match the record set by Denis Law.

Against Romania, manager Alex Ferguson gave the armband to Dalglish, remarkably only his seventh and the last time the king would captain the national team. Scotland's starting XI that night included nine future managers, including Dalglish and midfielder Graeme Souness – whom both went on to take charge of Liverpool. 

Dalglish also managed Celtic during his career, as did another teammate of his that day, midfielder Gordon Strachan.

Strachan opened the historic occasion at Hampden Park scoring in the 18th minute and was followed shortly by defender Richard Gough. Gough's partner in defence, Roy Aitken, added the third in the 81st minute, his only goal in 57 appearances for Scotland.

Dalglish, meanwhile, went on to earn two more Scottish caps before retiring from the national team later that year.

When you look at the history of the Scottish national team, it comes as no surprise that Dalglish’s tally has yet to be toppled. More shocking perhaps is how few players have come even remotely near to beating the long-held record.

Jim Leighton came closest. The end of his international career in 1998 meant an impressive 91 caps is all he could muster. Darren Fletcher currently claims the bronze medal. For somebody who enjoyed such a successful club career, it's shocking to learn he was unable to surpass the figure of 80. 
That's why Dalglish is regarded as the King on Merseyside and in his home country. Like true royalty, this reign will last for decades, and decades, and decades.