Ahead of Sunday's match at Anfield, Louise Taylor writes a piece for the Guardian sports blog which sets the rivalry between Kenny Dalglish & Alex Ferguson in a measured perspective (http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2011/mar/04/kenny-dalglish-sir-alex-ferguson ).
As the tabloids & Sky prepare their lurid weekend war analogies, supplying the ammunition to the neanderthals on both sides, & too many deluded saps in Glasgow perpetuate the folly of sectarianism (http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/mar/03/celtic-rangers-cards ), Taylor relates:
"[Dalglish & Ferguson] have always harboured a mental as well as physical edge -- while Ferguson's is more overtly aggressive, Dalglish's spikiness invariably features cutting sarcasm -- but both appreciate some battles are pointless. Significantly, neither had any truck with the sectarianism that scarred Glasgow during their respective upbringings. Although a Protestant, Dalglish was perplexed by religious divisions and grew up alongside close Catholic friends. Unusually, in extremely Protestant Govan, Ferguson was the product of a 'mixed' marriage, his father having broken a widespread taboo and married a Catholic.
"In later years Manchester United's manager would tap, productively, into the emotional energy fuelled by his club's supporters' 'hatred' for Liverpool, but that Govan upbringing had imbued him with an ability to grasp a bigger picture. Immediately after the Hillsborough Disaster in 1989 he followed up a phone call to Dalglish by dispatching a deputation of wreath-bearing United fans on a respect-paying mission to Merseyside."