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Denis Law was awarded the Ballon d'Or 1964
Denis Law, a Manchester United legend and Scotland's greatest soccer player, has been diagnosed as having dementia.
Law, aged 81, has revealed that he has Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia.
The condition was first diagnosed in Sir Bobby Charlton, a former United teammate.
Law stated, "This won't be an easy path especially for those who love you most."
"I am aware that the road ahead is difficult, demanding, painful, and always changing. I ask for your understanding and patience.
"I am aware of how my brain is failing and how my memory slips away when I don’t want it to. This causes me distress in situations beyond my control.
"I understand what is happening. That is why I want the best possible solution now. I know that there will be days that I don't get it all and I hate that thought.
"Try to be positive"
Law was a 1964 Ballon d'Or winner and won 55 caps for Scotland. He also scored 30 international goals, making him one of the greatest players in the country.
The striker, along with George Best at Old Trafford and Sir Bobby Charlton, formed what was called the United Trinity.
Law, who began his career with Huddersfield Town and then played for Manchester City twice and in Italy for Torino, won the European Cup, two English titles, and the FA Cup during his eleven years at Old Trafford.
The club stated that Denis Law would be remembered as one of the greatest legends in Manchester United's history and that everyone at Manchester United sends their love and best wishes for him and his family.
We know that his fans all over the globe will rally behind him. We are proud of Denis's courage and will continue to support him as he adjusts to his challenging condition.
After Scotland's victory of 3-2 over England in 1967, Denis Law was surrounded by a giddy fan.
He said he was "determined" to keep watching the Premier League side, and will continue to participate in the community trust named in his honor as he "tries to be positive".
He said, "I have bad and good days. I aim to accept each day and adjust my life accordingly."
Law and his family have also started a fundraising campaign for the Alzheimer's Society. They are extending their support to the former footballer.
Law stated that the charity was also doing incredible work with the sport industry through its Sport United Against Dementia Campaign, which he fully supports.
"This could really make the most difference for former players, players and fans."
In 2019, a study found that professional footballers are three-and-a-half times more likely than those in the general population to develop dementia.
Sir Bobby was the fifth member from England's 1966 World Cup winning side to be diagnosed as having dementia.
Jack Stiles, his brother, and Nobby Stiles both died last year from brain functioning disorders. This condition is thought to be closely linked to head footballs. Ray Wilson and Martin Peters also died in 2018 and 2019.
It was diagnosed in the sixties by Stiles, Peters, and Wilson. Stiles' son John said that his father was suffering from dementia and was relying on him to play football.
A neuropathologist stated that Jeff Astle, an ex-england and West Brom striker, died from a brain condition from which he had been playing footballs.
This season, new guidelines were introduced that limit professional players in England to only 10 "higher force heads" per week during training.
Dawn Astle, Astle's child, has been pushing for research into the link between football and brain injury. Dawn worked on an advisory basis with the Professional Footballers Association to "shape longer-term neurodegenerative treatment provision for former members" and their families.
Kate Lee, chief executive of Alzheimer's Society, said that Law's "bravery" in speaking up will inspire others to seek the help they require.
Lee said, "It's more important than ever to fund critical research and our vital support service and ensure that past and present players as well as fans know our services are available and can receive the dedicated dementia support and care they deserve."
Denis Law Legacy Trust stated that it was "saddened by the news."
Mark Williams, chief operating officer of the Trust, stated that "as a player his determination and grit took him from the streets in Aberdeen to the pinnacle world football. Everyone at the Trust knows that he will use the same strength now to fight this illness."
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