DENIS LAW has revealed he is suffering from Alzheimer’s in an emotional statement about his condition.
The legendary Manchester United and Scotland goalscorer says he has experienced anger, frustration, confusion and distress due to the condition, which he believes was not helped by the Covid-19 lockdown.
There has been much research and debate into how much heading the ball has led to Alzheimer’s for a number of ex players something Law also makes reference to.
Law, 81, said: “I am at the point where I feel I want to be open about my condition. I have been diagnosed with ‘mixed dementia’, which is more than one type of dementia, in my case this being Alzheimer’s and Vascular dementia.
“This has been an extremely difficult year for everyone and the long periods of isolation have certainly not helped.
“It is an incredibly challenging and problematic disease and I have witnessed many friends go through this.
“You hope that it won’t happen to you, even make jokes about it whilst ignoring the early signs because you don’t want it to be true. You get angry, frustrated, confused and then worried, worried for your family, as they will be the ones dealing with it.
“However the time has come to tackle this head on, excuse the pun. I recognise how my brain is deteriorating and how my memory evades me when I don’t want it to and how this causes me distress in situations that are beyond my control.
“I do understand what is happening and that is why I want to address my situation now whilst I am able, because I know there will be days when I don’t understand and I hate the thought of that right now.
“In the height of the pandemic I said I hoped that if one positive was to come out of it, it would be that it would make people kinder to each other, so that’s what I am hoping for now.”
Law started his career at Huddersfield, had two spells at Manchester City and played for Torino in Italy.
But it was at Old Trafford from 1962-73 where he made his name scoring 237 goals in 404 games.
He won two titles with United and the FA Cup and helped them to the 1968 European Cup Final where they beat Benfica although missed out on the game due to injury.
Law said that he wanted to make this statement about his condition now while he felt still able to and said that he does not want people to feel sad for him as he has felt ‘lucky’ to have had the experiences in life he has.
He said: “I don’t want people to be saddened if I forget places, people or dates because you need to remember I enjoyed all those memories and I am lucky to have experienced what I have in my life…a loving and supportive family, a great career doing what I loved and getting paid to do it and lifelong friends.”
Law, who also scored 30 goals in 55 games for Scotland, apologised to autograph hunters still wanting his signature saying he was simply unable to sign things anymore.
He said: “I have good days and bad days and aim to take each day as it comes adjusting my lifestyle accordingly.
“I hung up my football boots a long time ago and now it’s time to put my signing days behind me too, so apologies to anyone who has sent me anything but I am just not able.”
Law was in attendance at last Saturday’s thrilling 5-1 win over Leeds and says he hopes to continue watching United who he clearly believes are on the up again.
He said: “I am trying to be positive and determined to continue watching my club, Manchester United at Old Trafford, hopefully this will be a season of success and I am excited by the new signings that Ole and the club have made.
“Also where possible I would like to continue my involvement with the ‘Denis Law Legacy Trust’, the work the staff and volunteers do in the community is amazing and it makes a real difference.
“I know the road ahead will be hard, demanding, painful and ever changing and so ask for understanding and patience as this will not be an easy journey especially for the people who love you the most.”
Denis’s daughter Di who previously worked for United as the Chief Press Officer is doing the ‘Thames Bridges Trek’ on September 11 to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society.
Law said: “As a family, we have been offered support by Alzheimer’s Society and have chosen to fundraise for the charity to help support its crucial work.
“Alzheimer’s Society’s services have never been in more need, used over 5.5 million times since March 2020, and are a lifeline to thousands of families who are also facing a dementia diagnosis.
“The charity is also doing amazing work with the sports industry, with its Sport United Against Dementia campaign, which I fully support. This really could make the biggest difference to former players, players, and fans alike. Thank you.”
Following the legend’s announcement, United tweeted: “Everybody is with you in this battle, Denis.
“We are in admiration of your openness, your bravery and your humility to be open about your dementia diagnosis.”
Anyone wishing to donate can go to this link www.justgiving.com/thelawman
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