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‘We are all with you’: Football world sends support following Denis Law dementia diagnosis

Denis Law during a parade held in his honour in Aberdeen. Picture by Kami Thomson
Denis Law during a parade held in his honour in Aberdeen. Picture by Kami Thomson

Stars and organisations from across the football world have sent their support to Aberdeen football legend Denis Law after he announced he has been diagnosed with mixed dementia.

The 81-year-old said earlier today he had both Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia, adding that he had “good days and bad days” and acknowledging that “there will be days when I don’t understand”.

His statement also said his family would be making an effort to raise money for charity the Alzheimer’s Society, which praised Mr Law for his courage in talking openly about his condition.

That praise also came in a tweet from Manchester United, the team with which Mr Law spent perhaps his most fruitful years during the sixties and seventies.

The Scottish national team also tweeted support to their joint all-time top goalscorer, saying they were “saddened” to hear the news and adding: “The thoughts of everyone at the Scottish FA are with Denis and his family at this time.”

A message for Mr Law was also tweeted out by Manchester City, for whom he played before and after his spell with United.

Mr Law began his incredible career at Huddersfield Town, playing for them for the first time when he was just 16 years old.

The Yorkshire club echoed the sentiments expressed by Manchester United in their tweet, saying their former player is “held in the highest regard”.

Former England footballer Geoff Hurst, who was also at the peak of his powers during the sixties, wrote on social media: “So sad to hear news that the one and only Denis Law has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s but I will join him by being positive and supporting his daughter’s fundraising for Alzheimer’s Society, who are doing so much to fight this awful condition and support those affected by it.”

The news of Mr Law’s diagnosis follows that of another Man United legend, Bobby Charlton, who announced that he had dementia in November last year.

Both Charlton and Law played during the famous 1968 campaign when the team became the first English team to win the European Cup, and they are held in such esteem by the club that they are represented in a statue outside Old Trafford.

Former player and BT Sport pundit Chris Sutton alluded to Charlton’s diagnosis in his tweet reacting to the news, saying: “Yet another member of the great Manchester United 1968 team to be diagnosed with dementia.”

Referencing efforts to curtail heading the ball after research into links between the practice and dementia in later life, he added: “It’s such a shame the footballing authorities didn’t act sooner.”

Among those outwith the football world sending messages of support was Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, which said Mr Law had “worked tirelessly” to help the city’s young people.

A post from the Aberdeen University Twitter account said: “He is a fantastic ambassador for the city & has done a great deal for the region & its young people through @DLStreetsport & many other enterprises.

“Stay strong, Denis. Our thoughts are with you & your family.”

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