Denis Law made Man Utd what they are today, he was Alex Ferguson's idol and simply 'The King' of Old Trafford
DENIS LAW was simply nicknamed ‘The King’.
His goal-scoring exploits will forever hold a place for him in the pantheon of greats in world football.
He is immortalised with statues at either end of Old Trafford.
One stands inside the Stretford End that so adored him. Another is outside the East Stand.
His famous celebratory hand in their air with George Best and Sir Bobby Charlton either side of him.
They are looking up towards Sir Matt Busby on a plinth attached to the back of the stand smiling down at his greatest players across a forecourt.
Every day people have their pictures taken in front of it.
Those three simply made Manchester United the worldwide and much loved name they are today.
When flickering images in black and white of Law – who revealed he is SIXTH member of the 1968 United squad to have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's on Thursday – reached all corners of the world their global fan-base had it’s foundations.
He simply did what football fans love to see the most, score goals and lots of them.
He hit 237 in 404 games between 1962-73 for United and won two titles and the FA Cup.
Law also helped United to that famous 1968 European Cup win but sadly missed out on the final himself due to injury.
He began his career at Huddersfield where he still made welcome returns to watch them most recently during their spell in the Premier League.
From there he signed for Manchester City in 1960 for a then-British record £55,000 and a year later set a new record fee for a British player when he joined Torino in Italy for £110,000.
That went up to £115,000 when after a year, and failing to settle in Italy he joined United.
It was at Old Trafford he won millions of fans worldwide not least one Alex Ferguson for whom Law was his hero.
Ferguson said: "Denis Law was my hero as a player. I idolised him.
"When I first met him I was so excited. It was at a game in Paris, he had played in the first half and we went for a cup of tea afterwards.
"I thought: 'This is it, I've made it, I'm having a cup of tea with Denis Law!'
"For me, he epitomised everything a Scotsman is about. He was daring and courageous, he had that bravado about him and he had style. He was a truly fantastic footballer."
Fantastic enough to still be the only Scottish player ever to be awarded the Ballon d’Or, handed to him in 1964.
Law and Ferguson remain close friends with the former United boss mucking in to run the bar at the family home when Law once celebrated a landmark birthday.
It is the landmark moments on a football pitch that he will be remembered for mostly even if one particularly is shrowded in myth.
Having returned to Manchester City for a final season his back-heeled winner at the end of the 1973-74 season is often earmarked as the goal that sent United down.
Law did not celebrate as he feared that is exactly what it had done, but other results on the day actually made it inconsequential.
His last professional game came at the start of the following season scoring in a 2-1 win over Oldham and he retired on August 6, 1974 with manager Tony Book having told him that he would only be involved in the reserves.
He went on to become a much-loved pundit and anyone who met him loved him for his cheeky sense of humour and infectious smile.
That was even evident in his emotional statement revealing his Alzheimer's which has been linked to heading the ball amongst many players from his day including his teammate Sir Bobby Charlton who is also suffering.
“However the time has come to tackle this head on, excuse the pun,” said Law.
Admired far and wide long after his playing days were finished even Dennis Bergkamp was named after him although Dutch authorities insisted his name was spelt with two ‘n’s so it didn’t sound like Denise!
He can still be seen at Old Trafford most recently to witness the thrilling 5-1 win over Leeds United last Saturday.
A man who has fought back from prostate cancer now faces a battle that he admits in his statement he simply cannot win.
In his emotive statement he did not ask for sympathy and made a heartfelt plea that if the Covid-19 Pandemic may have taught us anything it is to be kinder to each other something he hopes continues.
The outpouring of love that will head Law’s way following his statement will show just how fondly he is held in the hearts of all football fans.
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