MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Former Manchester United striker Denis Law said Thursday he has been diagnosed with two types of dementia.
The 81-year-old Law, whose 237 goals for United is bettered only by Bobby Charlton and Wayne Rooney, said he wanted to be open about his condition after revealing he has “mixed dementia” — Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia.
“This has been an extremely difficult year for everyone and the long periods of isolation have certainly not helped,” said Law, who played for United from 1962-73 and won the Ballon d’Or in 1964.
“It is an incredibly challenging and problematic disease and I have witnessed many friends go through this,” he continued. “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.”
Law said he hopes to continue going to Old Trafford to watch United play but will be “adjusting my lifestyle accordingly.”
“The time has come to tackle this head on, excuse the pun,” Law said in a statement on United’s website. “I recognize 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’s 30 goals for Scotland is matched only by Kenny Dalglish, though Law’s tally was achieved in almost 50 games fewer.
He also played club soccer for Manchester City and Torino in Italy.
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