Denis Law, who was one of Manchester United’s greatest ever players, has been diagnosed with dementia. The Scottish football legend is now in his eighties and has been living in a care home in Scotland since the summer.
Denis Law, a Manchester United and Scotland great has dementia. He is one of the most famous footballers in the history of the sport.
Denis Law, a former Manchester United player, has been diagnosed with dementia. PA Images courtesy of Getty Images
Denis Law, a Manchester United great and former Ballon d’Or winner, was diagnosed with dementia on Thursday.
During his 11 years at Old Trafford, the 81-year-old won two league championships, a European Cup, and an FA Cup, and is one third of the club’s “Holy Trinity,” with Sir Bobby Charlton and the late George Best.
“I’ve reached a point where I want to be honest about my illness. I’ve been diagnosed with’mixed dementia,’ which means I have several types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s and Vascular dementia in my case “In a statement, Law stated.
“This has been a very trying year for everyone, and the extended periods of seclusion haven’t helped matters.” It’s a very difficult and troublesome illness, and I’ve seen many people suffer through it.
“You hope it won’t happen to you, and you even laugh about it while disregarding the early warning signals because you don’t want it to be real.” You get enraged, irritated, and perplexed, and then concerned, concerned for your family, who will be the ones to cope with it.
“However, pardon the pun, the moment has come to confront this straight on. I’m aware of how my brain is failing and how my memory eludes me when I don’t want it to, causing me anguish in circumstances beyond my control.
“I realize what is going on, and that is why I want to handle my issue now, while I am still able, because I know there will be days when I don’t, and I despise the prospect of that right now.”
“At the height of the epidemic, I stated I hoped that if anything good came out of it, it would be that people would be nicer to one another, and that’s what I’m praying for today.” I don’t want people to be disappointed if I forget names, dates, or locations because you must remember that I cherished all of those experiences and that I am fortunate to have had what I had in my life…a loving and supporting family, a wonderful job doing what I loved for a living, and lifelong friends.
Denis Law won two league championships and the European Cup during his 11 years with Manchester United. Getty Images/Man Utd/Ian Cartwright
“I have good and terrible days, and I try to accept each one as it comes, changing my lifestyle as necessary. I put my football boots away a long time ago, and now it’s time to leave my signing days behind me as well, so please accept my apologies if you have given me anything, but I am just unable to respond.”
Despite two stints at Manchester City either side of his United career, Law remains a fan favorite at Old Trafford, with a monument of him in the Stretford End of the stadium.
With 237 goals, he is the club’s third all-time top scorer. In 1964, he was awarded European Footballer of the Year. Law was injured and missed United’s first European Cup victory in 1968, when they beat Benfica 4-1 at Wembley.
Law had a stellar international career with Scotland, appearing in 55 games and scoring a joint-best 30 goals. At 1974, he ended his career by playing for Scotland in the World Cup in West Germany.
“I’m trying to be optimistic and determined to keep watching Manchester United at Old Trafford,” he said. “Hopefully this will be a successful season, and I’m thrilled by the new additions that Ole and the club have made.”
“I’d also want to maintain my participation with the ‘Denis Law Legacy Trust’ as much as possible; the work that the staff and volunteers perform in the community is incredible and makes a genuine difference.”
“I realize the road ahead will be difficult, demanding, painful, and constantly changing, and I beg for your patience and understanding as this will not be an easy trip, particularly for those closest to you.”
“As a family, we’ve been given assistance by the Alzheimer’s Society, and we’ve decided to fundraise to support the charity’s vital work.” The Alzheimer’s Society’s services have never been more in demand, with over 5.5 million people using them since March 2020. They are a lifeline for thousands of families dealing with dementia.
“With its Sport United Against Dementia campaign, which I wholeheartedly endorse, the charity is also doing great work with the sports sector. This has the potential to make a huge impact for past players, current players, and spectators.”
On social media, United sent a message of support that read: “Denis, everyone is rooting for you in this fight. We admire your candor, courage, and humility in sharing your dementia diagnosis with the world.”
Nobby Stiles, a former United teammate of Law’s, died in 2020 after suffering from severe dementia.
Former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has stated it is his “responsibility” to continue raising dementia awareness throughout the game, after fellow Ballon d’Or winner Charlton disclosed he was suffering from dementia earlier that year.
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