HER father was a sports journalist who rubbed shoulders with stars like George Best and Dennis Law before developing dementia later in life.

Now Laura Morrison is planning to take part in York Memory Walk in support of Alzheimer’s Society - as she herself fights back to fitness after undergoing surgery for a brain tumour.

Laura, 62, of Whixley, near York, is urging hundreds of people to join her by signing up now at memorywalk.org.uk to take part in the walk at Knavesmire on Saturday September 1.

She said her father Ian Wheeler, who died last year, started out as a teaboy in the newspaper industry covering weddings and went on to interview the greats of British football.

He knew George Best, lived round the corner from Manchester United’s legendary manager Sir Matt Busby, and supreme striker Denis Law attended his 25th wedding anniversary.

“He was a very intelligent man – you could ask him anything about sport and he would be able to give you the answer,” said Laura.

“Dad covered England’s victory in 1966 and wrote a book ‘From Weddings to World Cups.’ He had a lifelong passion for sport until he was robbed of it by dementia.

“I wanted to go for York Memory Walk as soon as I saw it was happening – dementia takes a huge toll on the family and there has to be more money raised for research to beat it.”

She said her mother Mildred was also living with Alzheimer’s and was in care.

She said her own journey began when she went to the dentist, thinking a sore jaw was a tooth abscess. When nothing was found, her doctor sent her for an MRI scan and the toothache turned out to caused by a benign tumour that had been growing for a decade. It was benign and was removed. “Now I’m finding my feet again with the walk,” she said.