Sir Henry Cooper was today laid to rest in Oxted Surrey, mourners of ‘Our Enry’ young and hold lined the streets to pay their final respects to the former British, European and Commonwealth champion and bowed their heads in unison as the cortege passed by with the Union flag draping his coffin and a reef with the words ‘Our Enry’
Sir Henry passed away at his son’s house in two days before his 77th birthday. He had been ill for some time and his health deteriorated after the death of his wife of 47 years Albina in 2008 and then his identical twin brother George last year and friends say the gentle giant died of a broken heart.
Cooper will probably be best remembered for his two fights with Muhammad Ali in the 1960s. In the first one on June 18th 1963, (fight video below) he knocked Ali down in the fourth round with his left hook, known has ‘Enry’s Hammer’. The Wembley crowd that night thought he had finished off the brash young American. But Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, was saved by the bell and helped back to his corner by his corner men.
It was a tearful sombre atmosphere has the champion man and boxer made his final bow.
Fan Steve Maynard, 61, from Woking in Surrey, echoed many peoples thoughts when he said: “Henry was a man of the people, he will be sadly missed, but revered in boxing for ever more, may he rest in peace.”