Denis Law was my hero when I was a kid.
I loved the way he played, the way he scored goals, and the way he celebrated.
I wanted to be just like him.
Well, I was fortunate enough to get to play with him when we were in the same Scotland squad at the 1974 World Cup Finals in West Germany.
Denis was a great help to me. He made pointers to improve my game.
He was also a very humble man, and was no trouble whatsoever.
At that World Cup, he was happy when he had a cup of tea in his hands. That’s all he wanted.
Donald Ford used to go and get a cuppa for him. Denis didn’t look for anything more.
It wasn’t that long ago we caught up at Old Trafford, and he was in great form. As sharp as a tack.
So when I read the news that he has been diagnosed with mixed dementia, I was taken aback.
Many footballers from yesteryear are now living with this horrible condition.
It has been linked with playing the game, and heading the ball.
But in Denis’s case, at this precise moment, we can’t say unequivocally that it is down to heading a football.
What isn’t in doubt, however, is that Denis has a wonderful family around him, and they will give him the best possible guidance and care.
Denis released a statement to tell everyone about his condition, and address the challenges he and his loved ones will face in the weeks, months and years ahead.
I look forward to seeing him again in the not-too-distant future.
To me, he will always be the same guy I was fortunate enough to meet and share a football pitch with nearly 50 years ago.
He was a pioneer and had one of the finest careers any footballer has ever had.
They say you should never meet your heroes as it tends to lead to disappointment.
That was never the case for me with Denis. He enriched my life and my career.
Take care, Denis, and we’ll see each other soon.
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