If you’re not interested in football then, as they say on the news, look away now. But if you are, I highly recommend a pair of really fine documentaries.
Kenny tells the life story of Kenny Dalglish, the Glaswegian who became synonymous with Liverpool FC and has an unenviable and surely unique record in that he was present at three of British football’s worst calamities: Ibrox (1971), Heysel (1985), and Hillsborough (1989).
Stewart Sugg’s meticulous, affectionate, moving film — not just a study of one man, but also an absorbing social history — shows how Dalglish was, in effect, broken by Hillsborough.
Kenny Dalglish (pictured playing for Liverpool in 1982) has an unenviable and surely unique record in that he was present at three of British football’s worst tragedies
But the documentary is upbeat, too, with many clips proving (though it pains me to admit it as an Everton fan) Dalglish’s genius as a player. As for his managerial success, with Blackburn Rovers and Liverpool, he ascribes it to one simple rule: making sure everyone has a job to do, and does it well.
If only it were that easy. And yet for him, it often was. However, his wife and children also make it clear that his sheer cussedness has not always made him an easy man to live with. It’s fascinating, illuminating stuff.
Hillsborough overshadowed everything for Liverpool fans in 1989, but they also have solid football reasons to regret that year, because it was on their Anfield ground, with the league title beckoning and just seconds of the 1988/89 season left, that Arsenal achieved one of the game’s most spectacular smash-and-grabs.
In 89, celebrity Arsenal fans such as Nick Hornby and Alan Davies recall that momentous season, along with manager George Graham and some of the players.
Even if you don’t follow the Gunners, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable film celebrating an era before the Premier League shifted the goalposts.
Michael Thomas scores a last-gasp goal to put Arsenal 2-0 up at Liverpool and steal the title from their hosts on goals scored – the main focus of 89