Denis Law was hero and villain all rolled into one. His high-octane performances for Scotland, Manchester United and Manchester City often put him on a crash course with the football establishment of the 1960s, as jealous onlookers from Merseyside and London would question his temperament and character. Yet for fans of both Manchester clubs, Denis was a Boys' Own hero: a player capable of incredible feats of skill and power, all carried off with the knowing smile and villainous touch that put some in mind of a Piccadilly pickpocket. To Mancunians, this son of an Aberdonian trawler-man became part of the fabric of the city; first as a dynamic frontman for the Sky Blues and later as an all-action hero at Matt Busby's United. In the latest of his biographies of former United greats, Brian Hughes traces the Scot's career from his arrival at Huddersfield as a 16-year-old to the dramatic conclusion of his career at Old Trafford playing for deadly rivals Manchester City. As Hughes discovers, Law remained a headline-writer's dream throughout a career that saw him land the FA Cup, European Cup and League Championship. At his most finest, Denis Europe's pre-eminent striker, winning the 1964 European Footballer of the Year award and selection alongside di Stefano and Puskas in the prestigious Rest of the World team that faced England in 1963's FA Centenary match. Denis' progress up the football ladder was meteoric. Yet the scrawny and bespectacled individual scouted by Huddersfield in 1955 didn't look much like a future world star. Most judges reckoned him too frail to succeed at professional level while Bill Shankly's first reaction was to put Law on the next train home. On the pitch though the Scot became, in Shankly's words, 'a terror'. A transfer to Manchester City for a record 55,000 soon followed and a 110,000 move to Torino confirmed Law's status as football's rising star. Yet Law always seemed destined for Busby's United. In the summer of 1962 Lawmania hit Old Trafford following the Reds 115,000 swoop for a player fans recognised as brilliant enough to win games single-handedly. Over the next six seasons, he proved the catalyst for Sir Matt's final push for European glory and, though he missed the European Cup Final in 1968, few doubted his influence on the club and supporters. Yet Denis' career took a dramatic twist with a free transfer from the Reds in 1973. City quickly stepped in to set-up the ironic denouement of April 1974 -- Denis' back heel consigning United to Second Division football and the Law legend to immortality.