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Henry Cooper

With Henry Cooper’s death a chapter of British sporting history has ended. Fighting in an age when there was one world heavyweight champion rather than enough to form a jury, and with great (and far bigger) boxers like Ali about, he never won the world title his awesome left merited. Our ’Enry was more than a fighter: after his ring career finished he showed great humour as a captain on Question of Sport; his sharp analysis of other pugilists was always fair; and he was loved enough to win Sports Personality of the Year twice. A knighthood in 2000 capped a full and eventful life in which, however, that one milestone moment stood out: knocking down Cassius Clay. A memorable hero.

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A laugh is worth a hundred groans in any market. - Charles Lamb
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On this day:
First Steam Locomotive Runs - 1804, Marx publishes The Communist Manifesto - 1848, Battle of Gujarat - 1849, Battle of Verdun Begins - 1916, SS Mendi Sunk off Isle of Wight - 1917
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