Barry pays tribute to Henry Cooper

British boxing legend and good friend to Barry McGuigan, Henry Cooper, sadly died yesterday.

Barry first met the British Heavyweight Champion labelled one of England’s sporting icons, in 1982 when he was crowned the British Board of Boxing Control’s Young Boxer of the Year. Barry since remained friends with the heavyweight boxer who sadly died on Monday of this week, three days short of his 77th birthday.

Here’s what Barry had to say in memory of his old friend…

“Henry was the only boxer to ever be knighted and the only boxer to ever win three Lonsdale belts outright , plus he was the first person to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year on two separate occasions.”

Spurring Barry on to future success, he continued, “Apart from all of that he was a fabulous man in every way and a personal friend. When I got the ‘British Board of Boxing Control’s Young Boxer of the Year Award’ he presented it to me and gave me great words of encouragement.”

The pair’s friendship developed right until Barry later retired and moved to Kent, he explained, “We became close friends and both played golf together at Brands Hatch. And whatsmore, my wife and I got to know Henry’s adorable wife Albina. We learned much from them including just how powerful a partnership between a man and his wife can be together. The last time we saw them was in 2008 at the Sports Industry Awards. Henry had just had pacemaker fitted and Albina told my wife Sandra that she was very concerned about him.

“Four months later, Albina tragically died and I don’t think he ever recoveered from that. My deepest sympathies go to Henry’s son, Henry Marco Junior and to his other son, John and all the extended family.”

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