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Release the Denis Law 6

You won't see a demonstration in Parliament Square. Nor a thread on social media. Most radio phone-in contributors don't believe football existed before 1992, so forget them. And you won't even hear a murmur down Sir Matt Busby Way.

So, it's time to start a campaign. A campaign to give The King his just deserts and correct a travesty of footballing injustice. What's kicked off this lobbying lament? The FA Cup. That 5th round tie between Luton Town and Manchester City. Yes the one that Luton were beaten singlehandedly by Erling Haaland.

The two clubs last met in the Cup at Kenilworth Road in 1961, and this too was some game. Local reports tell that in the days leading up to the 4th round contest, the rain was incessant. Referee Ken Tuck was forced to make three pitch inspections before giving the go-ahead. He was told the weather would improve. It didn't.

Within minutes the pitch that day was a quagmire. A bog. He kept it going for 69 minutes, but when the ball refused to go anywhere, he took the teams off. The Luton players sprinted back to their dressing room in seconds. Some claim in Olympic qualifying time. City meanwhile trooped off almost in slow motion, mad as hatters. Why?

Just like this latest tie City were 6-2 up in the tie and King Denis, Denis Law, had got them all. Six of the best. The first and second hattricks of his career as it happens. Now so the story goes, Luton experienced a tactical epiphany. The captain, Alex Ashworth, made a cunning decision. He told his team to get changed and prepare to go home. Sure enough, 15 minutes later when Referee Tuck walked into the Luton changing room to resume the action, the crowd still packed inside the ground, in front of him was a football squad in their civvies. Cigarettes alight. A bottle or two in hand. The dirty kit already in the washing bags.

It's said he issued a sound that rhymed with his name. But what else could he do? There was no alternative. He was forced to abandon the match. The re-arranged fixture was quickly scheduled for the following Wednesday. However, City goalkeeper Bert Trautmann, the one who broke his neck in a Cup Final, was still furious. Clutching at straws, as keepers do, he insisted that Luton's floodlights weren't up to an evening kick-off. And so after much discussion, Luton agreed to an afternoon start. This caused pandemonium at the nearby Vauxhall Motors plant. On match day hundreds of workers suddenly called in sick. The Cresta car production line stuttered to a standstill. Management feared a plague had broken out on the shop floor.

The next morning though, miraculously, the sober ones returned to work, fit as fiddles. Why? Luton had won the game at the second time of asking by three goals to one. City's scorer? Denis Law of course. The precise details may be a teensy apocryphal but who cares, it's a great story and there's another chapter. The pitch for the first game was in such a state that according to rumours Denis's shot for his sixth strike may well have cannoned in off a defender's leg. An own goal in the view of some.

With visibility behind the rain-soaked, steamy window of the tiny press box negligible and no television footage, the sodden scribes put their heads together and between them agreed on the headline. It was a much better tale to give goal number 6 to the Law man. Who was going to object? Football is all about statistics and who does what and when. After a phenomenal playing career, had Denis's half dozen counted he would have been the top FA Cup goal scorer of all time. But of course, you won't find it anywhere. That game, those goals, they never happened.

Denis is now in his 84th year, and it's surely time for the FA to call in VAR or any other body and review.

Come on, let's start the campaign. Release the Denis Law 6.

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