- Title: Man Utd great Law diagnosed with Alzheimer's, vascular dementia
- Date: 19th August 2021
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - MAY 8, 2013) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF LAW TALKING TO REPORTERS
- Embargoed: 2nd September 2021 13:29
- Keywords: Alzheimer's Denis Law Manchester United Scotland
- Location: VARIOUS
- City: VARIOUS
- Country: UK
- Topics: Europe,Soccer,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA002EQY5FLR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Manchester United and Scotland great Denis Law has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and vascular dementia, the 81-year-old said in a statement on Thursday (August 19).
Striker Law, who won the Ballon d'Or in 1964 and is third on United's all-time list of corers with 237 goals in 404 matches behind Bobby Charlton and Wayne Rooney, said that the road ahead would be "hard, demanding, painful and ever changing.
"I'm at the point where I feel I want to be open about my condition. I've been diagnosed with 'mixed dementia', which is more than one type of dementia, in my case... Alzheimer's and vascular dementia," Law said on United's website.
"This has been an extremely difficult year for everyone and the long periods of isolation have certainly not helped."
Law described the disease as "incredibly challenging" and that he had witnessed many friends go through it.
"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," Law added.
"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."
Tim Beanland, Head of Knowledge Management at the Alzheimer's Society, who have been supporting Law, said: "When I started there was an awful lot stigma, people were not coming forward and asking for support. But when you look at public figures like Denis Law who are doing this, enormously powerful when people come out and say I've got this condition. It does say to other people that they too can either come forward to be diagnosed, or if they've got it to reach out for support. And that will hopefully raise awareness and reduce stigma because the earlier we can get to people and give them some support the better their journey with dementia will be."
(Production: Andy Ragg, Iain Axon)
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