Denis Law hopes his old club Huddersfield Town can earn a place back in England’s top flight with victory over Reading in the Sky Bet Championship play-off final – and then stay there.
German coach David Wagner has led the Terriers to within touching distance of a return to the top flight for the first time since 1972.
Promotion to the Premier League is expected to net the winning club additional revenue of at least £170 million, which would further increase should they subsequently retain a place in England’s elite.
Former Scotland striker Law, pictured, joined Huddersfield as a raw teenager in 1955 and went on to become the club’s youngest player when making his debut the following year, aged just 16 years and 10 months, before moving on to Manchester City, Torino and then Manchester United.
The 77-year-old feels if Wagner’s side – who had topped the table early on before eventually finishing the Championship season in fifth – can get past the Royals tomorrow, then there is every reason to be optimistic for the challenges which would lie ahead.
“I followed Huddersfield over this particular campaign and they looked as if they would get promotion [automatically], then they had a bit of a bad spell before coming again,” said Law, who is an ambassador for Prostate Cancer UK.
“In football, I don’t care who you are playing in whatever division, if you don’t battle, then you are going to get turned over – and we have seen that this last season in the Premier League.
“Huddersfield have not got the money to buy players, so the manager has done a fantastic job with the money they have got to get into this situation where one more win would bring them into the Premier League.
“If they get into the Premier League, then they could battle and would be able to stay up.”
Law is joining fellow former City player Mike Summerbee in Manchester on 8 June to help support Prostate Cancer UK’s “March for Men”, which will see television presenter Jeff Stelling tackle 15 walking marathons over 15 days next month, taking in more than 40 football grounds including Town’s John Smith’s Stadium, Old Trafford and the Etihad Stadium.
Law has, along with Summerbee, come through his own battle against the cancer that hits one in eight men, a disease from which 11,000 men die each year in the UK.
“We men are often a bit too proud to go to the doctor and say, ‘look I have got a bit of a problem with the waterworks or whatever’. When they eventually do go, it is too late,” said Law, who was diagnosed in 2003 and following surgery has since made a full recovery.
“The message to get over is ‘don’t be afraid to go to the doctor’ – most times there wouldn’t be anything happen, but occasionally there could be a bit of a problem and if you had not gone, then things might have got a lot worse. It was my good lady [wife Diana] who said to me to get along to the doctors. When they came back and said ‘you have got cancer’, well I just conked out. But by going there, I was able then to get an operation, but who knows? I might not have been here if my good lady hadn’t insisted that I go to the doctors.”