Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Denis

And so it’s a very happy birthday to the legendary Denis Law today as he checks in as Scottish football’s newest septugenerian.

I am, sadly, too young to know Denis through anything other than archive footage and the memories of others. That he stars in so many of both is perhaps a tribute to just how good he was.

You may or may not recall that before the 1998 World Cup, Sir Alex Ferguson did a show with Gerry McNee in which he previewed Scotland’s opponents and picked his all time Scottish XI. (It was during the making of this show that Gerry’s overworked heart temporarily stopped working and Alex had to host a couple of episodes alone, deprived of the services of the “Voice of a Football).

On discussing the Lawman, Fergie noted that this was the one Scot who would have made it into a Brazilian team.

High praise indeed from a judge who would probably be considered qualified to offer a sound opinion.

So even for those of us who didn’t see him play Denis Law remains emblazoned through the collective memory of the Scottish football fan.

The goalscorer with the colossal heart, the Scot who took his rightful place in Old Trafford’s Holy Trinity, the Anglo with the odd accent who would run through walls just to have a kick at an English player, the arch competitor who wanted to destroy England on that day in 1967 rather than just take the piss out of them.

Ah, it’s all enough to get the patriotic heart beating just a little bit faster.

Denis, with right arms raised and cuffs gripped, we salute you.