Wednesday, September 09, 2009


There are not that many people in history who are instantly recognised by one name or one word this man had the luxury of two; “Ali” meant only one man around the world and the word “greatest” meant the same thing. Both words in every corner of the world conjured up the site of arguably the greatest sportsman ever, floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee; telling the assembled press in rhyme before the start of the fight which round his opponent would get beaten in; a truly outrageous and incredibly charismatic character and one off; we are not likely to see his like again in our life time; we were lucky to witness him.

Some boxers like Frazier would surely have been champions longer if they had not had the misfortune of being his contemporaries; Cooper was out of his depth but being beaten by him was the next best thing and it made Henry world famous, I remember my old man waking me and my brothers in the middle of the night to watch him live from America. His behaviour was such that America hated him with a vengeance at first because he was brash, confident brilliant and (whisper it) black; what they could not do which made them angrier was deny his greatness. His grace and power were awesome and he proved that not only could he dance and punch but he could take on the toughest customers toe to toe without flinching; tragically he demonstrated this courage sometimes when he didn’t really need to and it has resulted in heartbreak.

Last week he visited Ricky Hatton for a charity event in Manchester and the circus came to town with him; this time the press were not going to miss showing how the mighty had fallen their attention was merciless as they pounced on him arriving and it was painful. My last sighting of him was some time ago but here he was tragic, previously he could wave; strike a boxing pose and talk a little; not any more. His condition as he emerged from his vehicle brought gasps and made me look away he is now a shell of the “greatest” unable to walk unassisted and unable to use his hands or speak to the press, the ‘showboating’ was great at the time but he took many unnecessary punches and now he is paying the price.

He remains however a man of great dignity and is genuinely loved around the world; no one did more to earn the love and respect that he enjoys. This event reminded me that I am also getting on a bit but I am grateful for the memories he gave us my children have heard every story there is about him from me. He was a great champion; is a great human being and an inspiration to his race.


Anonymous said...

Kelly, you are the Witch-Finder General of racism, finding it where none exists.

Ali was,'whisper it, black.' Kelly, you clown,there were others before Ali-Jack Johnson, Louis, Archie Moore, Sugar Ray.

Ali was disliked by some, not because of his colour, but because, rightly or wrongly, he refused to go to Vietnam.

But he was 'The Greatest.'

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 09/09/09

“Ali was disliked by some, not because of his colour”
This might win the gold medal at the Olympics in the stupidest comment ever made competition.
Jack Johnson was hated because he was a black man who would not accept that white people were superior to him and he broke every unwritten law that there was to subjugate his race. I can’t think of one other black sportsman who emulated him until Ali came along, he was hated for his race alright and for his support for militant black action, Vetnam made it worse but that came along long after he had established himself as world champion.

Anonymous said...

'Ican't hink of one other black sportsman.'

Try Jesse Owens, you sporting illiterate.

Anonymous said...

Myself and 2 friends attended the full council meeting today.

I am trying to understand why Jim Sharkey tried to call an emergency motion regarding St Mirren and Penilee and Allanton.

Perhaps you could help here as I am confused and think this has been very detrimental to other outstanding matters.

1. Why would anyone call an emergency motion over something that is obviously not even close to anything that resembles an emergency. Or was this just some kind of political posturing. Help me here. Enlighten me!
2. When Labour wanted to gift St Mirren the Penilee pavillion and Playing fields at the cost of Lottery funding and the council tax payer, why are they suddenly against St Mirren leasing and hugely upgrading a council playing field at the cost of St Mirren.

I would urge all St Mirren fans to vote with their feet at the next election.

Labour are out. Keep them out for the sake of St Mirren.

Ronnie said...

Just read the article on Jim Sheridan's trip to Fiji!

He said how hard the trip was.

The poor soul!

Who paid for this?

At least he has several sofas paid for by the taxpayer to rest up on after his ordeal visiting tropical venues.

Poor Jim.

I hope that when I vote for him next time he can squeeze my family's holiday to Disney out of his expenses.

Drop in the ocean for him!

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 18:41
Maybe you didn’t understand what I was saying; Owens was a great athlete and his great friend Joe Louis was a great boxer; they toured around doing shows to help the war effort and neither of them ever raised their heads above the parapet they were what the establishment called “tame niggers” an appalling phrase; but that was and still is America we had to wait until the sixties to see black American sportsmen stand up to discrimination excluding the mighty Paul Robeson who was a great American footballer who became more famous as a singer and political activist , the Govt. blacklisted him and removed his passport thus ending his career.
• Perhaps you should be more circumspect when using the phrase sporting illiterate.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

You attended sitting on the SNP benches; you make the recurring mistake of thinking that others are as brain dead as you lot.

We are not against St. Mirren in any way; remember it was Labour who saved the club when I moved a motion at planning to allow the sale of Love St.

You are manipulating the fans and using them that’s why you are anonymous; will the fans buy this crap though? Roll the dice and we’ll see I don’t think they are quite as stupid as you clearly seem to.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Ronnie) 19:18
“Just read the article on Jim Sheridan's trip to Fiji!”

No you didn’t creep.

Jim is used to this from scum like you but it doesn’t bother him because he knows that creeps like you will never summon the courage to face him in public and make such allegations. Care to prove me wrong big man?

Anonymous said...

Why then did Jim sharkey try to raise an "Emergency motion" against the St Mirren development or are you denying this.

Why is Jim Sharkey rousing local residents against the St Mirren development.

It is obvious that Labour are now against St Mirren now that they are no longer in power and cannot use St Mirren to their advantage.

St Mirren fans wil not be taken in.

Saints against Labour will be the new chant in Paisley.

Anonymous said...

Councillor 7.36

Kelly, I was being kind in only alluding to your sporting, rather than your general lack of knowledge.

'this was and still is, America.' Kelly, America has a BLACK President, or did that pass you by?

And to call Louis and Owens 'Tame Niggers' is unbelievable bigotry.

Owen, grandson of a slave, won a University scholarship, and, using language you are familiar with,kicked Nazi ass on their home ground at the Berlin Olympics. Some 'Tame Nigger' Councillor.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 10/09/09
Cllr. Sharkey was doing what he was asked to do by his constituents and neighbours which was to have the matter discussed which the SNP denied them , people who were there will be asking what it is that the SNP are hiding, wouldn’t you.
I think you will find out that Saints fans are not as gullible as you and the SNP lying cowards clearly think they are, will they i.e. accept the word of someone who is too afraid and bent to give their name?

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 10/09/09

“America has a BLACK President, or did that pass you by?”

Would that be the same black president being referred to when shouts of “kill the nigger” were being heard at Republican rallies?

“And to call Louis and Owens 'Tame Niggers' is unbelievable bigotry”

I agree and I despise the racists who used these terms..

I know all about Owens; he chose not to get involved in his people’s struggles; he was content to be a roll model without rattling any cages.

He will however always be “the great Jesse Owens”

Insisting on using personal abuse is usually a clear sign of someone who has lost the argument.

Anonymous said...

So, Councillor, you claim Owens took the soft option and was a 'Tame nigger.

Let me give you a quote, Jesse Owens: 'Anyone who was not an activist in the seventies, was a coward.'

He also rattled Hitler's cage on the Fuhrers home ground. Some 'Tame nigger.'

Kelly, let me amend my earlier post - you are not only a sporting illiterate, your grasp of history is nothing to write home about either.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 11/09/09

“So, Councillor, you claim Owens took the soft option and was a 'Tame nigger”

No; I have already corrected this deliberate deceitful lie; how many more times?

“Let me give you a quote, Jesse Owens: 'Anyone who was not an activist in the seventies, was a coward.'”

How about this one from the same man talking about the famous black power salute of Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics “ the black fist is a meaningless symbol” it wasn’t until some time after Smith and Carlos that Owens made the remark you quote; 30 odd years after Berlin.

The fact is that guys like Owens and Louis chose to be apolitical; a completely different era and completely different from Ali.

You see I don’t have to indulge in personal abuse to destroy your argument; personal abuse and deliberate lies; not going well for you is it?

Anonymous said...

Deleted this in error anonymous...

You didn't give the Owen quote in full, did you Terry?

Let me help. He goes on to say 'The only time it (the black fist) has significance is when there is money inside. There's where the power lies.'

And that, Councillor, is a truism, whether you are black, white or green.

Rather than denigrating the guys who gave the salute, seems to me he was giving them guidance

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

Anonymous - He never made a political statement until the seventies; he may have felt like it but he didn’t do it. He started talking in the seventies when it was far safer to do so; black people were marching and demanding civil rights and he felt able to speak out then.
I don’t blame Owens or any other black American for choosing this path. During his formative years in the South he would have been all too familiar with lynching parties which were commonplace, he conquered the world in 19 36 and blacks were still being lynched in 19 47 what would you have done? He was great man but lying about him does him no favours. At least you seem to have dropped the lies and the personal abuse directed at me; well done.

Anonymous said...

If you, you sensitive soul, call referring to you ... If you, you sensitive soul, call referring to you as a sporting illiterate, personal abuse, all I can say is 'You aint heard nuthin' yet!' (Al Jolson) but what lies are you referring to Councillor?

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 14:54
Do you think that further invective will win you the long lost argument?

You lied when you repeatedly suggested that I had called Joe Louis and Jesse Owens ‘tame niggers’ I knew then I was going to wipe the floor with you.

If I was going to speak to someone like that I would do it to his face; I’m not hard to find.

Anonymous said...

Kelly, you used the phrase 'Tame niggers.' While not the originator, by using it,you gave it added impetus. In my book, that makes you guilty.

Hang your head in shame, you squalid little man, for denigrating some great coloured Americans.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 14/09/09
Can you get any more predictable? You really are some piece of work, I feel the need to go and wash

Jim said...

He was surely the greatest. I was reminiscing about sporting heroes recently and Ali topped them all.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Jim) 22/09/09
I can think of no one in the wider world of sport past or present who comes close for courage; ability and charisma to Ali.

The thought of him being knocked down was less likely than Tiger Woods missing a 3 footer; Sir Garfield Sobers getting out for a duck or Pele missing a sitter.

His condition now is the enduring reason that my relationship with boxing has always been one of a love/hate kind.