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The signing of Dalglish

Sir Tokyo Sexwale

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from the Guardian's Joy of Six today:




Probably the best pound-for-pound transfer in British football history is Kenny Dalglish's move from Celtic to Liverpool in August 1977. The Guardian newspaper mentioned his name three times that summer – all in the wake of Scotland internationals in June. The fourth mention came on August 11, two days after Bob Paisley and Liverpool chairman John Smith made a late-night smash-and-grab raid on Parkhead.


Paisley was staying in a hotel under the pseudonym Bill Smith, pretending to be his chairman's brother – and taking no chances whatsoever, hadn't even told his wife where he was going, in case any hacks caught wind. ("Jessie will not tell lies. So if she didn't know where I was, she wouldn't have to, in case anyone tried to find me.") Paisley's cover was eventually blown by a fan who spotted him and asked for an autograph, but by then the deal was almost done. When the £440,000 transfer was finally sealed with Jock Stein, Paisley turned to Smith and said: "Let's get out of here before they realise what we've done." Driving off into the night, their work wouldn't make the papers for another 48 hours; compare and contrast to the recent two-and-a-half-year Cristiano Ronaldo affair, then weep. Go on, let it all out.


Gotta love ol' Bob

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