David Beckham writes heartfelt tribute to close friend following dementia diagnosis

Former footballer Denis Law announced his diagnosis on Thursday

David Beckham has penned a heartfelt tribute to former footballer Denis Law after the sportsman announced on Thursday that he has been diagnosed with dementia.

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During his career, Denis played for the Scottish national team and Manchester United.

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On his Instagram Stories, David posted a picture of Denis in his Manchester United uniform, and wrote: "We stand side by side with THE KING on his fight against dementia…

"Sending love and support to Denis and his family."

In his statement confirming his diagnosis, Denis explained that he has "mixed dementia" and that he was suffering from both "Alzheimer's and vascular dementia"

 He added: "This has been an extremely difficult year for everyone and the long periods of isolation have certainly not helped.

David and Denis both played for Manchester United

"It is an incredibly challenging and problematic disease and I have witnessed many friends go through this.

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"You hope that it won't happen to you, even make jokes about it whilst ignoring the early signs because you don't want it to be true.

"You get angry, frustrated, confused and then worried, worried for your family, as they will be the ones dealing with it."

The sportsman revealed he was speaking out about his condition in order to "tackle this head-on" while he was still able to "address" it.

Denis was a football star during the 1960s and 1970s

He concluded: "I know the road ahead will be hard, demanding, painful and ever changing and so ask for understanding and patience as this will not be an easy journey, especially for the people who love you the most."

The 81-year-old then said that his daughter, Di, would be taking part in The Thames Bridges Trek on 11 September in order to raise money for the Alzheimer's Society.

He praised the work that the charity is doing, particularly with its Sport United Against Dementia Campaign, and wrote: "This really could make the biggest difference to former players, players, and fans alike."

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