Denis LAW

Manchester City FC

Denis Law - Manchester City FC - Biography of his Man City football career.

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 19 January 1974

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      Saturday, 24 February 1940
      Aberdeen, Scotland
  • Manchester City FC
    • Club Career Dates
      1960-1961, 1973-1974
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 19th March 1960 scoring in a 4-3 defeat at Leeds United (Aged: 20)
    • Club Career
      (During two spells)
      66 League apps (+2 as sub), 30 goals
  • Manchester United
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 18th August 1962 scoring in a 2-2 draw at home to West Bromwich Albion (Aged: 22)
    • Club Career
      305 League apps (+4 as sub), 171 goals
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Denis LAW - Manchester City FC - Biography of his Man City football career.


One of the game's most prolific goalscorers of all-time, Denis Law's first taste of English football came at Billy Shankly's Huddersfield as a slight, bespectacled 16 year-old in 1956. On March 15th 1960 - after 16 goals in 81 League games for Huddersfield - City boss Les McDowall spent £55,000 to give Law his first taste of life and football in Manchester. At the time it was not only a British transfer record fee, it was also the first time any player had ever been signed for more than £50,000. Law began his City career with a goal on his debut in a 4-3 defeat at Elland Road. His only other goal that 1959/60 season came in the very next game, a 3-1 home win against West Ham United. He'd play seven times in his first term at Maine Road going on to not only establish himself next time out, but also to finish top scorer for the Blues with 23 goals in all competitions. This figure would have been even higher had it not been for the bad weather and a bizarre FA Cup tie at Luton in January 1961. City found themselves two goals down before Law took matters into in his own hands on a bog of a pitch by scoring six times himself in just 48 minutes.


Unfortunately for City the rain never faltered and eventually the referee was forced to abandon the game and a replay was arranged four days later. Once again Law scored although this time Luton managed three in reply in a game that ran its full course. Denis was by now the star in a struggling City side but by July 1961 the club and the player seemed destined to part. When Italian giants Torino offered City £110,000 (another British record and the first time a British player had been involved in a six-figure transfer) Law packed his bags and moved to Italy. Twelve months later he was back in Manchester, unfortunately he was now plying his trade at Old Trafford under the guidance of Matt Busby. By the time July 1973 came around, Law had played more than 300 League games for United and Matt Busby was no longer in charge. New United manager Tommy Docherty decided Law was by now surplus to requirements and surprisingly gave him a free transfer.


Over at Maine Road, Johnny Hart knew it was a chance too good to turn down, and on the opening day of the 1973/74 season, Denis Law once again took to the pitch in a City shirt. As he'd done more than 13 years previously, Law once again scored on his City debut; this time twice in a 3-1 home win against Birmingham City. It was undoubtedly a shrewd move by Hart who was no doubt convinced Law could still do a job in the top flight. Playing alongside the likes of Lee, Summerbee, Marsh and Bell, Law confirmed this fact by scoring 12 times in 27/2 appearances in all competitions, and even managed another Wembley appearance albeit it on the losing side to Wolves in the League Cup Final. On April 27th 1974, Law returned to Old Trafford to take part in a game he'd never forget. Not only would it prove to be his last ever game in England but his by now famous back-heeled goal in the dying minutes effectively relegated his former employers. He'd had such a fine farewell season for City that his efforts were rewarded when he was called up for his beloved Scotland to play in two games of the 1974 World Cup finals held in West Germany. Those games took his tally to 55 internationals and were the icing on a magnificent career. In both spells with City he scored 38 goals in a total of 80/2 appearances. (Ian Penney - author of The Legends of Manchester City)


1956–1960    Huddersfield Town    81    (16)
1960–1961    Manchester City    44    (21)
1961–1962    Torino    27    (10)
1962–1973    Manchester United    309    (171)
1973–1974    Manchester City    24    (9)

Total        485    (227 goals)