The story of Denis is an astonishing and uplifting tale of triumph over adversity that saw a young Aberdeen boy rise from humble beginnings to become one of the greatest football players the world has ever seen.
Denis played for Huddersfield Town, Manchester City, Torino and Manchester United and became the greatest footballer that Scotland has ever produced; an icon of the game revered and loved throughout the football world.
He is best known for the eleven years that he spent playing for Manchester United, where he scored 237 goals in 404 appearances and was named The Lawman and The King by their supporters.
Denis was the showman supreme. He was more than a mere goal scorer whose cavalier thrusts and menacing darts brought panic to opposing defences. Law was an inspiration to those around him at club and country level and to younger generations of fans everywhere. Team-mates adored him, opponents feared him and fans revered him. He was a free spirit, an extrovert, a complete one-off, a rare combination of impudence and intelligence, class and clout. Denis Law is, was and always will be The King.
Denis Law is the only Scottish football player to have won the prestigious FIFA Ballon d’Or Player of the Year Award.
Previous winners include Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Find out more about the FIFA Ballon d’Or Player of the Year Award.
ABERDEEN’S MOST FAMOUS SON
Aberdeen is the birth place of Denis Law and home to Aberdeen Football Club who under the management of Sir Alex Ferguson famously beat Real Madrid to win the European Cup Winners’ Cup Final in 1983.
Denis was born to George Law (a fisherman) and his wife Robina on the 24th February 1940 at No 6 Printfield Terrace, Woodside, Aberdeen.
He was the youngest of seven children and went barefoot until he was 12 years old, and wore handed-down shoes until well into adulthood; his first pair of football boots was a birthday present from a neighbour, which he received at 16 years of age.
He supported Aberdeen and watched them when he had enough money to do so, watching local non-league teams when he did not. His obsession with football led to him turning down a place at Aberdeen Grammar School, as he would have had to play rugby there instead. Instead, he attended Powis Academy (now St. Machar Academy) in Aberdeen. Despite having a serious squint in his eye, he showed great promise once he was moved from full back to inside-left, and was selected for Scotland Schoolboys.
Denis signed his first professional contract with Huddersfield Town in February 1957 and went on to flourish under the management of Bill Shankly.
“Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.” – Bill Shankly OBE
“We all need role models. Denis was a year and a half older than me, I looked at him and thought that’s what I want to be” – Sir Alex Ferguson
Did you now?
Denis Law holds the record for most hat-tricks in Manchester United’s club history.
1. Denis Law 18
2. Jack Rowley 12
3. Dennis Viollet 9
4. Wayne Rooney 7
5. Bobby Charlton 7
THE LAWMAN IN ACTION
Former England manager Graham Taylor speaks to legendary striker Denis Law about his glittering career. Originally broadcast on Sky Sports January 2013
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In celebration of Denis and his remarkable contribution to the world of sport and the city of Aberdeen a number of fans and corporate sponsors recently commissioned a statue of Denis.
The iconic image below was the inspiration behind the statue which was unveiled by Sandy Busby (son of Sir Matt Busby) at Aberdeen Sports Village on the 20th July 2012.
The ceremony was attended by Denis and his family along with his Manchester City team mate and friend Mike Summerbee.
Denis Law is still the only Scottish football player to have won the prestigious Ballon d’Or European Footballer of the Year award in 1964.
© 2014 Denis Law Legacy Trust - Streetsport. All rights reserved. Created by Ali MacManus Communication Design Course, Gray's School of Art, Robert Gordon University.