Manchester United and Scotland great Denis Law says he has been diagnosed with “mixed dementia.”
The Aberdeen-born forward made his breakthrough at Huddersfield, then passed through Manchester City and Torino before heading to Old Trafford in 1962. Law scored an incredible 237 goals in 404 appearances for United and the player nicknamed ‘The Rey ‘ended his city career with City, while he remains Scotland’s top scorer with 30 goals.
The 81-year-old, who was named a CBE in 2016 for his services to soccer and charity, has now revealed that he has been diagnosed with dementia.
“I’m at a point where I feel like I want to be open about my condition,” Law said in a statement. “I have been diagnosed with ‘mixed dementia’, which is more than one type of dementia, in my case this is Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
“This has been an extremely difficult year for all of us and the long periods of isolation have certainly not helped. It is an incredibly challenging and troublesome illness and I have witnessed many friends go through this.
“You hope it doesn’t happen to you, you even make jokes about it while ignoring the first signs because you don’t want it to be true. You get angry, frustrated, confused, and then worry. Worried about his family, since they will be the ones who take care of it.
“However, the time has come to tackle this head-on, excuse the pun. I recognize how my brain is deteriorating and how my memory slips away when I don’t want to and how this causes me distress in situations that are beyond my control.
“I understand what’s going on and that’s why I want to address my situation now while I can, because I know there will be days when I won’t understand and I hate the idea of that right now. At the height of the pandemic, I said that I was hoping that if something positive came out, it would be that it would make people kinder to each other, so that’s what I’m hoping for now. “
Law is immortalized in the United Trinity statue outside Old Trafford alongside the late George Best and Sir Bobby Charlton, who was confirmed in November that he had also been diagnosed with dementia.
He added: “I don’t want people to be sad if I forget places, people or dates because it is necessary to remember that I enjoyed all those memories and I am fortunate to have experienced what I have in my life … a love and a caring family, a great career doing what I loved and getting paid to do it and lifelong friends.
“I have good days and bad days and my goal is to take each day as I adapt my lifestyle accordingly. I hung up my football boots a long time ago and now is the time to put my transfer days behind as well, so I apologize to everyone who has sent me something but I just can’t. I am trying to be positive and determined to continue seeing my club, Manchester United at Old Trafford, I hope it will be a successful season and I am excited about the new signings Ole and the club have made.