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Denis Law's Games That Changed My Life: "I won the Ballon d'Or… but playing with Alfredo Di Stefano was a bigger honour"

Denis Law
(Image credit: PA)

Denis Law was a legend the like of which has rarely been seen.

A Ballon d'Or winner who won everything at club level with Manchester United, his incredible stint at Old Trafford was bookended by spells across town at City. He even represented the Rest of the World on one occasion, against England at Wembley.

Here are Law's Games That Changed My Life.

1. Luton 2 Man City 6, 1961 (FA Cup Fourth Round)

“The rain was hammering down, but it didn’t bother me because I scored six goals! With 20 minutes to go, though, the pitch was soaked and the referee called the game off. The result and my six goals were wiped from the record. In the rearranged fixture, I scored but we lost 3-1. Sod’s Law!”

2. Leicester 1 Man United 3, 1963 (FA Cup Final)

Denis Law

(Image credit: PA)

“After the Munich air disaster in 1958, it was a hugely proud moment for us as players to win a trophy for United.

“I scored in a 3-1 win against Leicester, who started the match as favourites. I remember saying, ‘I’m so pleased to have won the FA Cup, and I’m not too bothered if we don’t win anything else now.’ What a stupid thing to say, eh?”

3. England 2 Rest of World 1, 1963 (FA centenary match)

“I won the Ballon d’Or in 1964, but I’d say playing for a Rest of the World side at Wembley the previous year was just as big an honour in my career. England had Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton and Jimmy Greaves; the Rest of the World had Lev Yashin, Raymond Kopa, Eusebio and Josef Masopust. I played alongside my all-time hero, Alfredo Di Stefano.”

4. Man United 1 Real Madrid 0, 1968 (European Cup semi-final)

Manchester United vs Real Madrid

(Image credit: PA)

“Real Madrid were my favourite team to watch – they had so many exceptional players, like Paco Gento. To beat them at Old Trafford in the semi-final first leg was incredible. 

“George Best was a man for the big occasion, and he scored the winner. Injury ruled me out of the away leg and the final, but I was so delighted for Matt Busby, my team-mates and the football club when we made history and won the European Cup against Benfica.”

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Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. Over his time on the brand, he has interviewed the likes of Aaron Ramsdale and Jack Wilshere, written pieces ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career, and has been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals, working for FFT