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Sir Henry Cooper has died aged 76

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Sir Henry Cooper has died aged 76

Post  Guest on Mon 2 May - 8:38

Sir Henry Cooper has died aged 76
Boxing legend and twice winner of BBC Sports Personality of the Year, he was a cult figure both in and out of the ring


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Damien Pearse
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 1 May 2011 21.22 BST
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Sir Henry Cooper, former heavyweight boxing champion has died. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA
Former boxer Sir Henry Cooper has died aged 76.

Cooper, who once knocked down Cassius Clay, was one of the sport's biggest personalities and was a cult figure both in and out of the ring.

He was the first to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award twice (in 1967 and 1970) and one of only three two-time winners in the award's history.

In 1970 he also cemented his reputation as one of the greatest post-war boxers, becoming British, Commonwealth and European heavyweight champion.

He was knighted in 2000.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2011/may/01/sir-henry-cooper-died-aged-76

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Re: Sir Henry Cooper has died aged 76

Post  Guest on Mon 2 May - 10:12

RIP Sir Henry

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Re: Sir Henry Cooper has died aged 76

Post  malena stool on Mon 2 May - 13:00

One of Britain's best.....RIP Sir Henry.

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Re: Sir Henry Cooper has died aged 76

Post  wjk on Mon 2 May - 13:52

RIP Sir Henry xx

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Re: Sir Henry Cooper has died aged 76

Post  Guest on Mon 2 May - 15:31

I remember him best for the Brut 33 adverts! He certainly was a character.

RIP, Sir Henry.

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Re: Sir Henry Cooper has died aged 76

Post  malena stool on Mon 2 May - 18:59

Heartfelt Tributes Pour In For Sir Henry Cooper, a True British Champion56
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.02/5/2011 4:43 AM GMT By Chris McKenna

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Chris McKenna

You only have to look to see how quickly the tributes poured in to understand how beloved "Our 'Enry" was after one of Britain's most-loved and best sporting figures lost his final fight just two days short of his 77th birthday.

From the modern day title holders like David Haye and Amir Khan to champions past in Barry McGuigan and Lennox Lewis, condolences poured in within hours of the passing of Sir Henry Cooper but it was old foe turned friend Muhammad Ali who spoke most poignantly of the deceased British hero.

Cooper is the man who memorably put Ali, when he was still known as Cassius Clay, on the canvas in 1963 with a spectacular left-hook – a punch that was affectionately known as 'Enry's 'Ammer by his admiring public.

"I am at a loss for words over the death of my friend, Henry Cooper. I was not aware he was ill," said the grieving Ali in a statement.

"Henry always had a smile for me; a warm and embracing smile. It was always a pleasure being in Henry's company. I will miss my old friend. He was a great fighter and a gentleman. My family and I extend our heartfelt sympathies to his family and loved ones."

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Cooper may have gone on to lose to Ali on that occasion, and again when the pair met in 1966 at Highbury in London, but it was these two fights that endeared him to the British public, an affection that never left him.

Frank Warren, the well-known boxing promoter, described why they public adored Cooper. He said: "He was a true gentleman and he epitomised true British grit, that's why the public took to him. He never won the title but he won everyone's heart and affections because of the spirit he had."

In today's world of multiple world title belts at more weight divisions than you could care to remember, Cooper went without ever winning the coveted crown of world champion in a time when you had to be the very best to earn it.

The British fighter was unfortunate to ply his trade during a time when the heavyweight game was at its peak with Ali, Sonny Liston and Floyd Patterson just three of the big names who were prevalent during Cooper's era.

But Cooper was a proud British, Commonwealth and European champion right up until he lost those crowns for the final time in his last ever fight against Joe Bugner in 1971 - one of British boxing's most contentious decisions.

A beast inside the ring, but a gentleman outside of it, even Cooper couldn't take the way he lost that particular fight without a bitter taste.

Many argued the decision of referee Harry Gibbs to give the fight to Bugner, and Cooper never spoke to his final opponent for years, until the pair put their differences aside in 2008 with a heartfelt hug and handshake. Even in such circumstances, Cooper was just too much of a nice guy to remain on bad terms with anyone.

Cooper received many deserved plaudits which included him being a double BBC Sports Personality of the Year winner and, most notably, the recipient of a Knighthood in 2000, leaving his mark not only on boxing, but on British life.

'Enry's 'Ammer became a motif of British boxing and his unique style was a joy to watch for many in a career which included 55 fights – 40 of which were gracious victories.

Cooper's endearing nature made him a goldmine for advertisers in the years after his career ended, but he was also a revered radio pundit and a hilariously entertaining team captain on A Question of Sport.

The Londoner always remained close to the sport of boxing even in his later years, and was a regular attendee of numerous boxing awards and could always be seen telling tales and giving young fighters golden advice.

And two of Britain's current champions, Haye and Khan, spoke about how the legend gave them guidance in their careers and how they remain ever thankful to him.

"He'd let you know his opinion - whether you wanted to hear it or not! - and I believe the advice he's given me over the years is working out because I'm now the heavyweight champion of the world," claimed Haye.

While Khan added: "For me to be able to speak to a legend like that was great for my career and a huge privilege. He gave me great advice at the start of my career and it has proved very useful."

Sadly the passing of his wife Albina in 2008 hurt Cooper more than any blow he was ever struck with in the ring and when his twin brother George also died last year, his ailing health became a real concern.

But he fought like he did in every fight as he battled right until the end and the world of boxing will forever fondly remember Our 'Enry.


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Re: Sir Henry Cooper has died aged 76

Post  Guest on Mon 2 May - 19:06

What a lovely tribute.

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Re: Sir Henry Cooper has died aged 76

Post  Lioned on Mon 2 May - 22:42

What a great man he was.He grew up around my old stomping ground.Spent a lot of time in the Thomas A Becket pub,training in the gym on the first floor.Down the Old Kent Road, just a stone throw from Millwall.
He was a great boxer and champion loosing very few of his fights,one or two on points fair and square but certainly not the Bugner one.A couple got stopped because of his 'dodgy eye' which his better opponents tried to exploit.
A working class lad who grew into a true Gent.

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Re: Sir Henry Cooper has died aged 76

Post  Guest on Tue 3 May - 1:29

General News
Sir Henry Cooper and his merry band of celebrities played alongside other contributing amateurs in their annual visit to Le Méridien Penina Golf & Resort for the Charity Golf Classic in his name and that of the later Mike Reid. A total of 23 four-player teams took part in practice rounds as well as the main 54-hole tournament over the Palmares, Boavista and Penina courses.



Martin Herdman and his 'Sony Walkman' team put up a brave defense of their title with 247 Stableford points, but ended up six behind the 2008 winners 'Agency One' comprising actor Kevin Whately, Max Morgan, Andy Parry and Hugh Bush. Comedian Paul Thornley's team, 'Return of the Red Eye' came in 2nd with 250 points, followed by the Penina team (249) captained by actor Nick Burns, and a Bill Goff team led by Graham Bradley, the jockey. The best individual celebrity score over the three rounds was carded by football coach, Brian Kidd, with 112 points, two clear of Nick Burns. Actor J.J. Field scored 109 and actor/comedian Simon Farnaby came in 4th place with a round 100. All the proceeds from the event were distributed to Sir Henry's nominated charities.

http://www.algarvegolf.net/newsletter/news76.htm

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