Denis Law: Manchester United legend diagnosed with dementia
He has been diagnosed with 'mixed dementia'
Manchester United legend Denis Law has been diagnosed with dementia, he has revealed in a statement.
Law made 404 appearances for United and is widely regarded as one of the club's most legendary players. Law also scored 30 goals for Scotland in his 55 caps.
"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. 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.
"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. 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.
In a statement, Manchester United said: "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."
Denis is the latest of many footballers of his generation to be diagnosed with dementia.
"Bryan Robson was knocked unconscious during a game, he came back on and played. We never gave it a second thought."
Viv Anderson explains why he has partnered up with @mindsetdementia and how their new app will help tackle football's dementia crisis. pic.twitter.com/h5SREYQFBX
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) March 26, 2021
Just nine months ago, his former Manchester United teammate Bobby Charlton was diagnosed with dementia, shortly after Nobby Stiles, who also played with both Law and Charlton, died after suffering from both dementia and prostate cancer.
Bobby's brother Jack, Leeds United legend, World Cup winner with England in 1966 and legendary manager of the Republic of Ireland national team, died in July last year after suffering from lymphoma and dementia.
Kate Lee, chief executive at Alzheimer’s Society said: "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."