Denis Law, footballer

Born, Aberdeen, Scotland, 1940.

Denis Law, known as 'the King' to his fans at Manchester United, is Scotland's joint leading all-time scorer and was one of the football's stars of the 1960s.

Played for his country when only eighteen,

Beattie left Huddersfield, and was replaced by Bill Shankly, another Scotsman on his way to far bigger things. Law developed into a fine centre forward and goal poacher. At 5'10" the blonde Law was never the largest man on the pitch, but had an athletic salmon-like leap that made him a dangerous aerial threat, and was a brave and selfless player who would not shirk the physical side of the game, although his penchant for seeking retaliation against defenders occasionally landed him in trouble with the referee.

As he leads United on to victory,

At the time Italian clubs were able to offer players much higher wages then they could obtain in Britain, and in 1961, encouraged by the success of John Charles at rivals Juventus, the Italian side Torino, paid £100,000 for Law's services, smashing the record amount paid for a footballer. Law did not settle in Italy, finding the culture and language unsettling and the diet of pasta bewildering. Law shared a flat with Joe Baker, who had been signed from Hibernian at the same time and the two became firm friends. But neither found the slow, cagey defensive catenaccio of football to their liking, and their boredom and isolation led to hi-jinks that nearly ended in tragedy. Driving home after a night out, Law wrote off the car he was driving and Baker was seriously injured in the resulting crash.

He left Torino in '63,

It was at United were Law's star truly blossomed, and the forward partnership be built with Bobby Charlton and George Best is one of the games all-time great attacks. Law settled in quickly, scoring after only 6 minutes on his debut. He would score 23 times in that first season, but United would disappoint in the league, finishing a lowly 19th. A brighter spot was the FA Cup, which United won, their first trophyware since the Munich disaster, and Law fittingly scored in the final.

The next season the 17 year old Ulsterman George Best broke into the team. The Manchester United team suddenly clicked and Law scored an astonishing 30 goals in 30 games that season, a total that was limited due to injuries picked up as part of his never say die technique. Law was a chaser after lost causes, and had an anticipation and ability to read the game coupled with reflexes that allowed him to convert the faintish opportunity into a goal. Manchester United finished runners-up in the league to Liverpool that year, who were now managed by Law's early boss, Shankly. To cap the year off Law won the European Footballer of the Year award in 1964, and he remains the only Scottish player to have achieved this accolade.

He joined Man United and became our King,

In 1968, United would finally achieve Matt Busby's ambition of lifting the European Cup. Injuries had again been disrupting Law's game and he was forced to miss the European Cup final against Benfica, languishing in a hospital bed with a knee injury, he could only listen to a radio broadcast of the game. Law recovered and was back the following season but this would prove to be the high point for Busby's United, and team slowly started to decline. Law continued to score, but at a slower rate then his explosive early years, and the team drifted apart. Busby left and successive managers failed to rejuvenate the team, and George Best was lost to alcoholism when he should have been hitting his peak.

Denis, Denis Law,
King of the Football League.
News of the World Football Annual 2001-2002, Stuart Barnes

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.