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Kelly Cates on how growing up Kenny Dalglish's daughter gave her perspective on football and footballers

Sky Sports Presenter Kelly Cates joined Nathan Murphy on Off The Ball to discuss growing up as th...

Cian Fahey
Cian Fahey

15:00 14 Oct 2021



Kelly Cates on how growing up...
Soccer

Kelly Cates on how growing up Kenny Dalglish's daughter gave her perspective on football and footballers

Cian Fahey
Cian Fahey

15:00 14 Oct 2021

Sky Sports Presenter Kelly Cates joined Nathan Murphy on Off The Ball to discuss growing up as the daughter of Kenny Dalglish.

You may not have known it, but Kelly Cates is the daughter of Liverpool and Scotland legend Kenny Dalglish.

Cates has successfully carved out her own career in sports media. She works for Sky Sports as a presenter and host, where she most famously has to deal with Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher. Something she makes look easy, balancing serious debate with hijinks.

While Dalglish is no longer her name nor is it who we think of when we see her, growing up with a famous football father undoubtedly had an impact on her career choice.

And more importantly, on how she viewed footballers.

"When I was the manager's daughter I was not encouraged to hang around footballers, quite the opposite," Cates said.

"I was like 13/14 and then a bit older. It was 'you come into the office, you stand with us and stay clear of everybody.' It wasn't really a mingling opportunity.

"My first experience of footballers were my mum and dad's friends. I would see the wives and kids as much as I would see the footballers. When it's your dad's workmates they're not really that interesting. That's kind of how I first saw footballers."

Being that this was 30 years ago for Cates, it also wasn't the same experience for kids today.

The Premier League didn't exist and footballers weren't world famous. They definitely weren't rich. There was no difference between a footballer visiting you and a plumber visiting you, except the plumber was useful if something broke. It was just another person with another occupation.

Especially to a teenage girl.

"Footballers weren't what they are now. They weren't celebrities in the same way. They were footballers just, that was what they did, so there wasn't that same kind of glamour around them. They'll probably be horrified to think they weren't glamorous."

But, as is always the case in life, there were exceptions.

George Best made an appearance at a charity match that make Cates take a moment to acknowledge. Interviewing David Beckham was a big deal too, but those moments came when she was an adult. As a child, she cared about her dad being her dad and not her dad being a footballer.

She did know from an early age he was different though.

"Where we grew up it wasn't a big deal. We were there all the time and people were just sick of the sight of him.

"I remember going to a Rod Stewart concert when I was a kid and I think I was about nine...people were stopping and asking my dad for autographs. And my mum was dragging me 'just bloody leave him, leaving him to it.' That was the first time I ever really noticed it."

Teenage Cates didn't care about her father's fame, but now that she's an adult she can see it from a new perspective.

"What's really lovely about it is we've had different generations of it.

"He was there as player and manager, that was so much part of everyday life you didn't really notice it then. That was just how it was and how it had always been. But then particularly at Liverpool when he went back the second time, there was just such a lovely warmth around it.

"My mum said they'd go out to dinner and people who they'd known for years would suddenly come over and go 'Do you mind if I have a picture?' and she's like, he's the same person he was last week. He's no more interesting than he was last week.

"But the culture around football had changed."

Cates went back with her father when Liverpool named a stand after him. That experience revealed a different perspective for Cates over time.

"To go back again, it was just really lovely."

Gavin Bazunu and nine players who could take Newcastle to the next level.

 

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