Kenny Dalglish may have left for Melwood on Thursday night after his Liverpool team's practice session at the National Stadium at Bukit Jalil, but his presence in the city is yet to make an exit.
The club legend famed for his scoring prowess through the 80s and his managerial success, which saw Liverpool lift three league trophies and two FA Cups, including a double in 1985/86, has left an indelible impression on Malaysian supporters.
"I watched him play almost twenty-eight years ago during a trip to Liverpool and I still remember his skill on the field and the respect he commanded," said Azrul Ali, an 82-year-old retired marine engineer, who made two-hour journey from Ipoh to watch The Reds in action against Malaysia on Saturday evening. "I'm sad he's left but as you can see, everyone is wishing he was around. His return to Liverpool means glory is going to return soon."
Khairul Ramlan who is just 16-years-old, echoed the sentiment. When asked why Dalglish, legend as he may be, appealed so much to him given that he was not even born during the striker's prime, Ramlan said, "It doesn't matter. That's what makes me a supporter and I learnt all that I could about him through ‘youtube' and realized he's still so much better than most forwards today. He should be a model for others at the club to follow, maybe we'll actually win something then!"
Once a legend, always a legend goes the phrase and Malaysia wholeheartedly reaffirmed the statement. If mere words are not enough, the city of Kuala Lumpur being brought to a standstill by an absent Dalglish and his team should be an indication.
The writer's trip has been sponsored by Standard Chartered.