Tribute was paid to the boxing legend at the Gunners’ former ground which had been the stage for an electric evening which will not soon be forgotten
As the world continues to mourn the loss of Muhammad Ali, Arsenal director Ken Friar laid a wreath at Highbury on Monday.
The Gunners’ former ground was the stage for the second fight between Ali and Henry Cooper on May 21, 1966, an event which was viewed by a 46,000-strong crowd as the late great took on the challenger he had defeated three years earlier at Wembley.
The capacity crowd were treated to yet another Ali victory in a fight that was organised in part by Mr Friar, who was eager to pay tribute to a sporting icon he could describe only as “awesome”.
“No one deserves it more – I felt very emotional laying the wreath,” Mr Friar told Arsenal Player.
“The fight was probably one of the most momentous evenings ever. It was an electric night, the weather was great and we had everybody there.
“We had all the film stars in, we had George Raft, Diana Dors, Rocky Marciano – it turned out to be an amazing evening, especially with the way the fight turned out. Poor Henry, who I became very friendly with in later life, was cut to pieces but there was hardly a mark on Muhammad Ali.
“I met Ali – I was very fortunate there. He was awesome in a word, he had charisma beyond belief and everything about him exuded fame.”