British boxing champion Sir Henry Cooper has died at his son’s home in Surrey aged 76.
Sir Henry Cooper was best known for his clash with Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay) in the 1960’s. He had a trademark left hook – ‘Enry Ammer’ – which floored Ali in 1963.
He was the British, Commonwealth and European heavyweight boxing champion. He had a 17 year fighting career (1954 – 1971) winning 40 out of 55 fights with 27 knockouts and one draw.
Cooper never managed to win a world title but won a strong British following being voted BBC sports personality of the year in 1967 and 1970 and was knighted for public service in 2000.
Cooper came from humble beginnings and was born during the war in Southwark, south-east London with twin brother George. In 1959, when Cooper won the British and Commonwealth titles he was still living with his parents and sharing a room with his brother. He moved out the next year when he married. He has two sons; Henry and John.
Robert Smith, the general secretary of the British Boxing Board of Control, described Cooper as “one of the sporting icons, not just for the boxing public but sport in general”.
Cooper died at his son’s home in Oxted, Surrey just two days before his 77th birthday.
Cooper is regarded as one of the best all-time British heavyweight champions. He is remembered alongside the likes of Frank Bruno, Lennox Lewis and Tommy Farr.