Manchester United legend Denis Law has opened up on his recent diagnosis with mixed dementia, choosing to explain his current health condition.
The former striker is the club’s third top goalscorer with 237 goals, only behind recently retired Wayne Rooney and former teammate Bobby Charlton.
Law also still holds the record for most competitive goals scored in a season at United, having netted 46 goals during a particularly prolific campaign.
Nicknamed The King, he holds a special place in supporters’ hearts and is part of the famous trinity statue outside of Old Trafford, alongside other club legends Charlton and George Best.
The Red Devils have released a statement on behalf of the Scotsman, where he details exactly what has been going on with him personally.
According to the club’s official website, Law 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.”
Law was determined in saying: “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.”
Law also reminisced: “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.”
His brilliantly positive personality shown through when 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.”
Lastly, he added: “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.”
Kate Lee, chief executive at Alzheimer’s Society said: “We have offered support to Denis Law and the whole family. We are incredibly thankful to the family for choosing to raise vital funds for us and hope Denis’s bravery in coming forward will encourage many others to seek the help they need, for which we are hugely grateful.
“We’ve seen too many sporting heroes impacted by the condition, which is why our Sport United Against Dementia campaign is needed now more than ever.
“It’s never been more important to fund crucial research and our vital support services and ensure that right now, past and present players, as well as fans, know our services are here and can get the dedicated dementia support they deserve.”
Manchester United released their own statement, saying: “Denis Law will always be one of this club’s greatest legends and everybody at Manchester United sends our love and best wishes to him and his family.
“We know our fans around the world will also rally behind him.
“We applaud Denis’s brave words and will continue to offer whatever support we can as he adapts to this challenging condition.”
Hopefully with Law speaking openly about his challenges, it will raise even more awareness of the condition and help others get through their difficult times.
Alzheimer’s is a disease that is almost rooted in football, particularly with the older generation of players.
Heading is crucial in the game but it has devastating and lasting effects on many who have sacrificed their bodies for the beautiful game.
Football’s in the past were particularly dense and heavy, especially when it rained and so that has often been linked as a potential cause for Alzheimer’s.
Many have called for heading to eventually be weeded out of the game and this is a reminder that perhaps it’s time to seriously consider it.