NEW YEAR HONOURS: Amanda Kopel was too scared to open letter – because she thought she was in trouble

© DC ThomsonAmanda Kopel with a photo of her beloved husband Frank.
Amanda Kopel with a photo of her beloved husband Frank.

Campaigner Amanda Kopel has dedicated her New Year Honours List award to her “soulmate” husband Frank.

The 68-year-old was awarded the British Empire Medal, following years of campaigning to introduce an end to age discrimination in the care system.

Frank’s Law – named after Amanda’s late husband and Dundee United legend Frank Kopel – will come into effect in April after a six-year fight.

Amanda spearheaded the campaign in honour of Frank, who died in 2014 after a battle with dementia.

And she admits when the letter about her gong arrived, it was hours before it was even opened in case it was something negative.

Amanda said: “When the letter from the Cabinet Office arrived I couldn’t bring myself to open it.

“I thought somebody was going to be giving me a rap over the knuckles for speaking out too much and making too much fuss.

“When I eventually opened it I just burst into tears, I couldn’t believe it. I’m over the moon.

“I feel very honoured but this award is for Frankie and for everyone else who suffered the way he did.

“He would be so proud of what we have achieved. I promised him before he died that I would carry on campaigning to ensure that the law was changed.”


Posted by Amanda Kopel on Friday, 28 December 2018

Frank starred for Dundee United between 1972-82 and also had spells with Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers and Arbroath.

After retiring, the former left-back was diagnosed with dementia the week before his 60th birthday.

Both Frank and Amanda had to give up work following his diagnosis, which put extra strain on their lives. After his health deteriorated, Frank was eligible for just 19 days of free personal care before his death in 2014.

That was despite living with the illness for nearly six years.

© DC Thomson
Dundee United legend Frank Kopel pictured in 2013.

Amanda added: “It’s been a long, hard campaign but we achieved what we set out to do.

“I’m just so sorry that Frankie and so many others didn’t live to see the day but we got there eventually.

“It’s too late for Frankie but hopefully thousands more people will now benefit.”

New figures have revealed that in 2017-18 there were 484 dementia patients aged 60-64, 245 aged 55-59 and 85 who were 50-54.

Another 38 were aged 40-49, and 16 patients receiving dementia medication were 39 and under.

Frank’s Law is expected to benefit almost 9,000 families.