Never meet your heroes. They're all too human. I haven't met Kenny Dalglish. But I'd like to.
My parents come from the north west. I remember, as a child, being taken to Anfield. On one occasion - Boxing Day - we were in the Kop. The cavernous, all-standing terrace moved as one; a rippling wave of humanity, chanting and singing, spluttering praise and blame.
It was King Kenny's era. The time of Hansen and Hughes, of Case, McDermott and Fairclough. The Reds were dominant, winning title after title.
Then came Manchester United's resurgence in the 90s, and so Dalglish's recent return has been that of a great warrior, coming out of retirement for one last war. Over Luis Suarez, though, he nearly lost a major battle.
There's something inscrutable about Dalglish. He takes straight-talking to Clint Eastwood levels. I like that. No bullshit. There's also a dryness to his humour. That's an understatement, by the way. Dust is damper.
And so he decided what his position was on Suarez, his star striker, and stuck to it. Dalglish said the club backed the Uruguayan. Suarez was a Red, and LFC loyalty took precedence over arguing the toss.
Until the weekend, that is, and Suarez's snubbing of United defender Patrice Evra's hand. Finally there was some movement. Evra claims he was racially abused by Suarez during their earlier league clash at Anfield in October. Suarez was found guilty by the FA and banned for eight matches. Liverpool didn't appeal.
Suarez's defence was that he used the word 'Negro,' which he claimed is culturally acceptable in Uruguay. Thus he had no defence. Not a decent one anyway.
Because while banning a woman from driving a car may be culturally acceptable in Saudi Arabia, it's certainly not acceptable here. Hanging people for being gay is acceptable in Iran, but, again, anything but okay on British shores.
And nor is calling someone 'Negro.' Suarez has been living and working in Europe since 2006. He should have known better. It could, and should, have been nipped in the bud back in the autumn.
Loyalty is a fine quality, but when deployed in defence of the indefensible, it begins to look like bad judgement. Kenny Dalglish was starting to appear over the hill; a bit of an old fool; an alleged racist's stooge. The man who delighted fans as a player with his neat, lightening turns in the box, followed by a deftly taken goal, was allowing the sheen to come off Liverpool's reputation.
Who was in charge? Was Luis yanking Kenny's chain? Sir Alex Ferguson, who took great pleasure in knocking Liverpool "off their perch," beating the Reds' record number of league titles, was right when he called Suarez "a disgrace to Liverpool Football Club."
But then, yesterday, not only did Suarez apologise for not shaking Evra's hand, he also said sorry to Dalglish: "I've not only let him down, but also the Club and what it stands for and I'm sorry. I made a mistake and I regret what happened. I should have shaken Patrice Evra's hand before the game and I want to apologise for my actions."
Dalglish, who took straight-talking to the edge of rudeness in an interview with Sky's Geoff Shreeves, has said sorry too: "I did not conduct myself in a way befitting of a Liverpool manager during that interview and I'd like to apologise for that."
And so Liverpool supporters and football fans in general can breathe a huge sigh of relief. King Kenny is not a belligerent curmudgeon after all, but simply a candid speaker who arguably allowed something to get out of hand. If I met him, I'd want to know some of the stories of the seventies and eighties, what Bob Paisley was like, and whether he misses playing.
The Suarez matter can now be put to one side - even more so if, as one of the papers suggests this morning, Liverpool's American owners are thinking about moving the player on.
Never meet your heroes. They're all too human. Which is why people should meet their heroes. To realise that people are people, and that being ordinary is nothing to be ashamed of.
By apologising, King Kenny has come back down to earth, and rejoined the supporters who pay his wages. We all have to say sorry sometimes. Even sporting legends.