Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...
Fife Council’s Lib Dem group leader has said he can’t see how Frank’s Law can be fully delivered in the current financial climate. Tay Bridgehead councillor Tim Brett said the predicted £300 million a year price tag is “very significant” and additional funding would have to be provided. He said it was with a heavy heart he admits it will be extremely difficult to implement Frank’s Law in Scotland unless full additional funding is provided. Health Secretary Shona Robison cited the £300m figure from work carried out by her officials and Stirling University’s Professor David Bell. Mr Brett said: “It can be very difficult to know when a person may die and therefore the current arrangements to say that people can receive free home care in their last six months of life is difficult if not impossible to implement.” He continued: “The other bigger issue for all of us is that while we would like to see Frank’s Law introduced, the fact remains that nearly all local authorities across Scotland are struggling to meet the needs of their populations at the present time.” Amanda’s husband Frank, former Dundee United and Manchester United star, was diagnosed with dementia at 59 and died shortly after his 65th birthday. The Kopel family paid thousands of pounds in care costs until just weeks before his death. The Courier has backed Amanda’s campaign, as have a number of footballing stars. Health Secretary Shona Robison said a decision on Frank’s Law could be made by the time parliament breaks up in March. Frank’s Law candidate Pat Kelly previously said the estimated £300m price tag should not be the project’s death knell. He said one person’s dignity “has no price tag” and that 1p on income tax could raise £330m. In response to Mr Brett’s comments, Mr Kelly added: “The Barnett consequentials means that £800 million will come to Scotland by Westminster, so perhaps some of that money can be ring-fenced for Frank’s Law. “That with the 1p in income tax shows there’s money there.”
As Dundee United legend Frank Kopel’s widow Amanda fights for free care to be extended to under 65s with dementia, she opens up to Gayle Ritchie about losing her husband. In the early stages of his illness, iconic footballer Frank Kopel would smile at video footage of his greatest goal. As his dementia worsened, he would gaze impassively at the television screen, asking his wife Amanda, “Who scored that?” Not only had Frank forgotten how skilled a footballer he was, he had forgotten who he was. Frank, who was in Manchester United’s travelling squad when they won the 1968 European Cup and was then part of Dundee United’s great team of the 1970s and 1980s, was just 59 when he was told that he had dementia in 2009. Because he was under 65, he was unable to qualify for free personal care. As a result, the Kopel family struggled on for six years, paying vast amounts of money – around £300 a week – to ensure Frank got the care he needed at home. He reached the qualifying age for free services 19 days before his death in April 2014. Since Frank’s diagnosis, Amanda, 66, has campaigned tirelessly for Frank’s Law – a law which would extend free care to under 65s with dementia. At her home in Kirriemuir, she recalls the moment her husband received his diagnosis. “It was the end of our world as we knew it. We wondered whether to go public, but Frankie turned to me and said ‘Amanda – tell them. It’ll be too late for me but it could help other people’. I feel now that I’m finishing a job Frankie started.” Amanda won’t stop calling for fairness and equality in provision just because the love of her life has gone. She’s lobbied Parliament and engaged with politicians of all the major parties to raise awareness and seek change, and the campaign has garnered nationwide attention from MSPs, celebrities and sporting figures alike. But it has yet to be passed into law. Of the 85,807 dementia sufferers in Scotland, 3,201 are under 65 and not entitled to free personal care. “I’m doing this for Frankie and for all under-65s in Scotland whose lives are damaged by unequal provision,” Amanda tells me. “Dementia is a horrible disease whether you’re 45 or 95. Age is just a number so why are people being discriminated against? If Frank’s Law is passed, financial hardship for under 65s with dementia will ease and their quality of life will improve. “The campaign keeps me going; it keeps me focused. I refuse point blank to give up – to let both Frankie and all those other people down.” When you meet Amanda, she comes across as a bright, warm, sunny individual with a sense of humour. I discovered this a few weeks ago when I dressed up as Forfar Athletic’s football mascot, Baxter the Bridie, and was presented with a Frank’s Law T-shirt by Amanda ahead of a match. But behind the smiling and joking is a side Amanda protects from the public glare. “People see me and think I’m coping because I’m laughing, I’m talking and I’m getting out, but life is very lonely without Frankie,” she admits. “I could walk into a room with 10,000 people in it and still be alone. Frankie and I were soulmates. I miss him. But I know he’s pulling the strings from heaven saying ‘keep on going, hen’. Amanda and Frank grew up in the same Falkirk street as children. When they first met, Amanda was eight, and Frank was 10. He had a football under his arm and asked if she wanted to go to the park. “We tootled down there and Frankie kicked a ball while I went on the swing. Even then I knew he was somebody special. We shared our first kiss at a party when I was 12 and our first date was to watch a football match - Stirling Albion vs Alloa.” The couple married in 1969, as Frank’s football career was going from strength to strength and Amanda was working for a bank. “People tease me that I’m one of the original WAGS,” she laughs. “Somewhere inside me there’s a Victoria Beckham waiting to get out! “Frankie always said he was lucky to do a job he loves. We had a brilliant life and then this disease came to our door. It destroyed Frankie’s body and mind but it never destroyed the love we had for each other. “Sometimes I find it difficult to remember the good times because I still see what that horrible disease did to him. Dementia has been described as the ‘long goodbye’ – you watch someone slowly being robbed of their life, of their dignity.” When Amanda noticed Frank confusing simple issues, such as totting up figures in his job as a sales rep, she put it down to stress at work. But as the illness took hold, she became Frank’s full-time carer. She recalls a day when he turned to her and asked: “Where do you live?” “I thought he was joking. I told him where I lived and he said: ‘You do not. 'Amanda and I stay there. Do you know Amanda?’ I was in pieces but I couldn’t cry in front of him.” A few weeks later, Amanda dug out their wedding album and asked Frank who was in the pictures. “He knew it was me, but couldn’t work out I was sitting beside him. I explained I was just an older, fatter version. He burst into tears and said: ‘What’s happening to me, Amanda?’” Things got progressively worse and it got to the stage where Amanda felt she was looking after an “adult baby”. “Frankie was frustrated – he knew what he was trying to say but he couldn’t get the words out. He became doubly incontinent, couldn’t feed himself, his mobility went and he lost sight in his left eye.” But there were moments of lucidity, right up until the end. One memory that will stay with Amanda forever is of the day they danced together, a few weeks before his death. “I was feeding Frankie in the kitchen when the Elvis song, The Wonder of You, came on the radio. He stood up and started to sing and dance with me. He held me until it stopped and said: ‘Amanda, you’re beautiful. I will always love you’. Then he went back into his other world.” Then there was the time Frank failed to recognise himself scoring that incredible goal against Anderlecht in Belgium in 1979 which saw Dundee United through to the next round of the Uefa Cup. Watching a rerun, he asked Amanda: ‘Who scored that goal?’. “He didn’t even know he was a footballer,” she says. Because the Kopels were paying for Frank’s personal care, they were strapped for cash and forced to sell one of his League Cup winners’ medals with Dundee United and his pride and joy – a blazer from when he was a player at Manchester United under Sir Matt Busby. Touchingly, the collector who bought the blazer returned it after hearing of Frank’s illness. The family also faced the distress of feeling unable to get the correct diagnosis of Frank’s condition until having his medical history re-examined by neuropathologist Dr Willie Stewart. “He had been misdiagnosed and it became clear his disease was caused by football and recurrent head trauma,” says Amanda. “I’ve got photos of Frankie heading the ball and it’s worrying. I wonder what damage was done back then.” Frank passed away in Amanda’s arms at their home after picking up a chest infection. Clutching a locket which holds a photo of Frank, Amanda recalls: “It was just the three of us – me, Frankie and our son Scott. Frankie chose his moment. He said: ‘I’m tired, Amanda, so tired’ and lay down on the pillow. That was the last thing he said. “There was a lot of laughter in our marriage – Frankie and I shared the same sense of humour so it wasn’t all about tears. I was blessed to have him in my life for so many years. “When the time comes, I know he’ll be waiting for me.” In June, Amanda received the degree of Doctor of Laws from Dundee University in recognition of her campaign for Frank’s Law. She’s heavily involved in raising awareness of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) – a form of younger-onset dementia associated with repeated sport-related head trauma, and is working with a Glasgow-based research team headed by Dr Stewart to further studies into the links between CTE and brain injuries. Meanwhile, her campaign has enjoyed several high-profile boosts, with Andy Murray posing with a Frank’s Law T-shirt at Rafael Nadal’s local club in Mallorca in July, and the Spaniard himself showed similar support in May. Celebrity backing has also come from Game of Thrones actor Ron Donachie, Deacon Blue singer Ricky Ross and TV queen Lorraine Kelly. Ultimately, Amanda’s story is one of hope, tenacity and perseverance in pursuit of eventual success. She won’t give up until the law is changed. For more details on Frank’s Law, see www.facebook.com/Frank.Kopels.Law, and frankslaw.org
Three members of a Dundee family who survived the Battle of Passchendaele have been added to the city’s roll of honour. The Great War Dundee Project is the story of the 30,490 men that left the city to fight in the first world war and of the people left at home. Dundee gave 63% of its eligible men to the armed forces and the directory was updated following Saturday’s Courier article about the role the city’s Johnston brothers played in the war. Of the five Johnston brothers, Frank, Walter, David and Peachy were artillerymen, and the fifth, John, was an army doctor. Frank and Walter’s entries have now been updated while David, Peachy and John have now had entries created in the returnee section of the honour roll. Gary Thomson from the Great War Dundee Project said: “Following Saturday’s Courier article on the five Johnston brothers who served in the war, with both Frank and Walter paying the ultimate sacrifice and the fact that Frank, for reasons unknown is not recognised as a casualty of war, the Great War Dundee Project has updated the entries for both Frank and Walter on the new roll of honour. “Dundee paid a high price for her war efforts. By the armistice, over 4,000 men had made the ultimate sacrifice. “Their names are recorded in the city’s original roll of honour, a simple alphabetical list of names, ranks and regiments. “Over the years mistakes and omissions have been discovered by families viewing the list resulting in handwritten corrections to the record.” Mr Thomson said one of Great War Dundee’s main objectives is to produce an “inclusive, fully searchable online roll of Dundonians who contributed to the war effort” and in doing so honour the men and women who lost their lives and those who survived. He added: “Due to the fact that Frank was not recognised as a casualty his entry on the original Dundee Roll of Honour was very sparse with only his name and regiment listed. “Saturday’s article allowed us to contact Frank’s relative who provided us with a fantastic amount on information about Frank and Walter which have been added to their entry. “Not only that but the three brothers who survived, David, John and Peachy have now have entries created, in the returnee section of the honour roll. “It is thanks to people like Douglas that these entries now have added information and photos.” Frank is believed to have been wounded in Flanders in 1917 and he endured a prolonged and difficult death in November 1919 in a private nursing home in Dundee as a result of his injuries. The family have been unable to provide sufficient independent corroboration that he died directly of his war wounds as his army records have not survived. Frank’s great nephew Douglas Norrie from near Arbroath is trying to find documentary evidence to correct this. David and Frank were both with the Royal Garrison Artillery (RGA) and their batteries of large long range howitzers were deployed at Corps level and primarily used to attack specific enemy targets, particularly enemy artillery. Walter and Peachy served with the Royal Field Artillery (RFA) with their respective brigades being attached to infantry divisions and their smaller, highly portable field guns being used in support of infantry. The fifth of the brothers, Captain (Dr) John McPherson Johnston was a doctor and served with the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) and was awarded the Silver War Badge after being discharged with TB.
Dundee United fans paid tribute to Frank Kopel on Saturday, displaying a special banner during the McDiarmid Park clash. The former United player lost his six-year battle with dementia aged 65 on Wednesday. A private committal will be held this Wednesday at Parkgrove Crematorium, Friockheim, followed by a service of celebration at Old Parish Church, Kirriemuir. Frank’s wife Amanda said: “The day of the week, Wednesday. Frankie and I were married on a Wednesday. Our son Scott was born on a Wednesday. Frankie went home to heaven on a Wednesday. We will celebrate Frankie’s life next Wednesday.”
Frank Kopel’s widow Amanda has been left speechless following a “wonderful gesture” from Belgian giants Anderlecht - the club her late husband scored his greatest goal against. His stunning late strike in a 1979 UEFA Cup tie against the Belgian club - against whom he made his European debut for Manchester United in 1968 - took the Tangerines into the next round on the away goals rule and is part of United’s European folklore. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeduPujTuyI United fans nicknamed him the ‘Arrow in Anderlecht’ while Scotland manager Jock Stein chose it as his goal of the season that year and United boss Jim McLean described it as one of the best he’d ever seen in Europe. Mrs Kopel was reduced to tears when she opened a parcel from Belgium which contained a Frank’s Law T-shirt which had been signed by the current Anderlecht squad. Mrs Kopel said: “I am really so overwhelmed to receive this T-shirt especially this week as it will be three years on April 16 since Frankie died. “He was so chuffed and so proud in a humble way when Jock Stein chose it as goal of the season that year and that the United supporters named him the ‘Arrow in Anderlecht’. “Our friends Graeme Marshall and Rob Morrison were instrumental in getting the T-shirt signed and unbeknown to me had been ‘plotting’ behind my back." Mrs Kopel phoned the Belgian club to thank them and they said they would do "whatever they could" to help the Frank’s Law campaign. The Anderlecht signed T-shirt will now join a collection of signed Frank’s Law T-shirts which will be framed and auctioned to help with research into chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and dementia. https://www.facebook.com/Frank.Kopels.Law/posts/1956814574549755 Mrs Kopel said: “I so remember the night I received the phone call from Doris McLean to say that Anderlecht had been knocked out of the cup and it was Frankie who had scored the goal. “She said Jim had said it was one of the best goals he had ever seen in Europe. “Frankie was always so humble about it - whenever anyone asked he would tell them the ball came to his feet from Luggy (Paul Sturrock), he closed his eyes, hit it and the next thing he knew it was on the back of the net. “That was my Frankie, a humble man, whose team-mates knew when he crossed over that line on the park, he gave 100%” Frank’s Law - which is supported by The Courier - would give under-65s with debilitating conditions the same rights to state support as older people. Mr Kopel was diagnosed with dementia aged 59 and his family had to pay about £300 a week to support him. When he turned 65, he was eligible for just 19 days of free personal care before his death in April 2014. Scottish Government ministers have ordered a feasibility study into the proposals which is expected to report back in the summer. Mrs Kopel said: “I hope and pray it is not another negative answer for all those living in hope. “We are hearing week in and week out that Scotland needs independence - well I would also like to say that Scotland needs Frank’s Law."
Scottish football legend Billy McNeill has backed the campaign to make Frank’s Law a reality. McNeill, who captained Celtic to European Cup glory as one of the Lisbon Lions in 1967, has thrown his weight behind the bid for a fairer care system. The first British footballer to hold aloft the European Cup sent Amanda Kopel a photograph with him holding a green and white T-shirt, representing his Celtic heritage, to show his support. Mrs Kopel said: “I am absolutely over the moon to be sent this photo from one of the greatest Celtic players, who I know Frankie had the utmost respect for. Billy McNeill and his lovely wife Liz are proud to support Frank’s Law.” Dundee United legend Frank Kopel and his wife Amanda paid around £300 a week for him to have personal care in his Kirriemuir home after he was diagnosed with dementia aged 59. The former left-back was eligible for just 19 days of free personal care before his death in April 2014, despite living with the illness for nearly six years. Scottish Government ministers have ordered a feasibility study into the proposals, which is expected to report back in the summer, but there is now a majority at Holyrood backing the bid. The Tories have promised to bring forward a Frank’s Law bill if the SNP continues to drag its heels. Mr McNeill’s backing came as Nicola Sturgeon defended her record on care for the under-65s at Holyrood. The First Minister was questioned by one of her own MSPs, Linda Fabiani. Ms Sturgeon said: “Last year, NHS Health Scotland published ‘Dementia and equality – meeting the challenge in Scotland’, which made recommendations on improving services for the under-65s. “Those included increasing workforce knowledge, improving information for employers and having more age-appropriate services. “We will continue to consider the report’s recommendations as part of the next dementia strategy. “We are taking action for people under 65. Post-diagnostic services focus on key areas such as ensuring that social networks are sustained as far as possible, signposting to age-appropriate peer support and helping with some of the financial issues that can impact on that particular care group.” Meanwhile, Dundee councillor Ian Borthwick has welcomed Age Scotland’s backing of Frank’s Law. Mr Borthwick, who was an officer at Age Concern for 30 years, said: “ At times it was quite harrowing and difficult to be aware of families struggling to maintain support for their loves ones, particularly those aged between 50 and 64 – below when you can receive care.”
Nicola Sturgeon has pledged to bring in Frank’s Law. The First Minister promised to end the age discrimination in the care system during her programme for government speech this afternoon. It is a major triumph for Amanda Kopel, who has spent years fighting for justice for dementia patients and their families. Amanda was forced into financial hardship because her husband Frank, the legendary Dundee United footballer, was not entitled to the same free personal care that over-65s receive. Ms Sturgeon said: “The campaign for what has become known as Frank’s Law - named after Frank Kopel - advocates the extension of free personal care to the under-65s. “The Scottish Government undertook to carry out a study into the feasibility of making this change. https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/local/dundee/504214/franks-law-victory-heres-dundee-utd-legends-widow-reacted-news/ “That study has been published today and I am pleased to announce that we will now begin work to fully implement Frank’s Law.” Celebrating her remarkable victory, Amanda told The Courier: “I look back to when Frankie scored that winning goal against Anderlecht and I’m sure he’ll be watching the now and saying ‘look what we did Amanda’.” https://youtu.be/oeduPujTuyI She added: “I have kept my promise to Frankie. He said to me ‘it’s too late for me but it’s going to help other people in the future’.” The campaign, which was backed by The Courier, seeks to extend free personal care for those with debilitating conditions to under-65s. It has attracted massive support throughout the country since she lodged her petition with the Scottish Parliament in 2013. Frank’s family paid out £1,200 a month for care until his death from dementia in 2014, which came just weeks after he qualified for free support on his 65th birthday. Miles Briggs, the Scottish Conservative MSP, was trying to get the law onto the statue books through a member’s bill, which is out to consultation. Mr Briggs said: "It is welcome news that at long last the Scottish Government has committed to implementing Frank’s Law in full. "It’s clear that ministers have been forced into this position by public and political pressure, but in the end they have finally done the right thing and decided to remove age discrimination for sufferers of life limiting conditions who are under 65. “I urge ministers to set out a clear timetable for the implementation of the extension of free personal care and I will be seeking an early meeting with them to pin them down on these details. “This is a huge personal victory for Amanda Kopel whose determined, high profile and consistently dignified campaigning has been outstanding from the very start." Scottish health secretary Shona Robison said: "I am pleased that we will now begin the work to extend free personal care to everyone who requires it, regardless of age. "This takes forward the First Minister’s commitment in the programme for government to implement Frank’s Law. “I want to pay tribute to Amanda Kopel and everyone in Dundee, Fife, Angus and Perthshire who have campaigned on this important issue. "The views of people in the area where Frank lived, played and managed have been crucial in shaping our approach. "I look forward to meeting with Mrs Kopel later this week to discuss our plans and to thank her for her efforts in bringing these changes about."
Amanda Kopel has been named Public Campaigner of the Year at the Scottish Politician of the Year awards. Mrs Kopel from Kirriemuir accepted the honour in recognition of her work to extend the provision of free personal care to those aged under 65 with degenerative conditions. https://twitter.com/MilesBriggsMSP/status/931472233184276480 It follows the success of her Frank’s Law campaign, which was backed by The Courier. The new legislation, which is due to come into force in April 2019, will benefit at least 9,000 families in Scotland by extending free personal care to people with dementia under the age of 65. Mrs Kopel spearheaded the campaign in honour of her late husband - Dundee United legend Frank - who died in 2014 after a battle with dementia. As she accepted the award, she vowed she was “going into extra time” and urged politicians to usher in the changes sooner. Mrs Kopel said: “There are no words that I can say after winning this prestigious award - I feel so honoured and extremely humbled to have won it. “This is only the first round of the battle for justice, equality and fairness. There is still a long way to go, but with the continuing help of Frank’s Army behind me we can win that battle. “Mine and Frankie’s wish was to help the under-65s who were being blatantly discriminated against in Scotland by having to pay for personal care before they reached 65. “I know my soulmate Frankie was standing right beside me as I picked up that award, and that award was for him and also for the under-65s in Scotland who need the benefit of Frank’s Law as soon as possible and certainly before the date of 2019. “Time is so very precious to everyone of us, and some under-65s do not have time on their hands. “Time waits for no one.” Frank’s Law will benefit all under-65s living with dementia, when they are assessed as in need of personal care, as well as those who have other diseases, disabilities, illnesses and conditions. The Scottish Conservatives led the parliamentary campaign for the adoption of Frank’s Law, culminating in a member’s bill being lodged by shadow health secretary Miles Briggs. Mr Briggs said he was delighted to see Mrs Kopel win the award and described her as an “all round superwoman”. He said: "As Amanda said, people under-65 in Scotland need Frank’s Law today.” The Campaigner of the Year award, sponsored by the Herald, follows the Great Scot award Mrs Kopel has already collected. The Courier's Frank's Law campaign is also in the running for the Campaign of the Year title at the UK Press Gazette Awards.
Frank Kopel’s widow Amanda shed tears following a public show of support from Dundee United and Hamilton Accies on the pitch at Tannadice. The symbolic gesture at the ground where her husband Frank spent the majority of his playing career left Mrs Kopel “enormously overwhelmed”. In their warm-up, players from both sides wore T-shirts highlighting The Courier-backed Frank’s Law campaign set up in the wake of Mr Kopel’s death almost exactly two years ago. Frank’s Law T-shirts have gone across the globe since Mrs Kopel launched the effort to press the Scottish Government for fairer personal care for those affected by debilitating conditions, regardless of age. The couple paid out hundreds of pounds per week for personal care at Frank’s Kirriemuir home because he did not reach the qualifying age for free services until just weeks before his death. But Sunday was the first time two top Scottish teams had taken to the park wearing the T-shirts carrying the slogan ‘I’m Supporting Frank’s Law’ – United in black and tangerine and Accies in red and white. Mrs Kopel said: “When I was first told by Utd that the players from both teams were to be wearing their Frank’s Law T-shirts at the warm up, I began to cry. “I really didn’t believe what I was hearing. “I wanted so much to turn and tell Frankie the wonderful news that his team were going to be the first team in Scotland to do this, and that Hamilton, a member of the close-knit footballing family would follow suit. “What a wonderful gesture by both clubs. “The support is growing by the minute for Frank’s Law to be delivered. “People from all walks of life and from so many places all over the world, not just in Scotland and the UK are talking about Frank’s Law and wearing their T-shirts with pride.” Mrs Kopel said that watching United and Accies players walk onto the Tannadice turf was “bittersweet” because the one person she wanted to hold her hand and dry her tears was missing. She said: “I am so honoured that Frankie’s memory is being remembered in this way. “Never would either he or myself have ever imagined that we would see this day happen.” Mrs Kopel thanked United and Accies but also gave a big thank you to the SPL for agreeing that the players could wear the T-shirts. “Myself and the family want to say a heartfelt thanks to everyone, wherever they are, who are continuing with the tremendous support which they are not only showing to me and the campaign, but to the memory of Frankie who lost his life to such a dreadful disease,” she said. “The campaign needs to be rolled out all over Scotland even more to raise awareness to everyone under the age of 65, who may at some point in their lives be assessed as needing personal care”, she said. “They need to be aware that they will be charged for that care, but when, and if they reach 65 they will not be charged. “No disability, no condition, no illness and no disease waits around and suddenly strikes a person on their 65th birthday.”