Muhammad Ali in Tulse Hill, 1974

In 1974, this picture was taken of Muhammad Ali at Tulse Hill Comprehensive, sparring with a schoolboy.

But how did the world heavyweight champion – and one of the most famous men in the world – end up in a South London state school shortly after the Rumble In The Jungle with George Foreman in Zaire?

Well, he was invited by civil rights campaigner Paul Stephenson, who was on the school’s board of governors and thought it would be a good idea to ambush Ali in the lobby of the Hyde Park Hilton and suggest he come to the school assembly.

We continued to chat and he wanted to know how much I’d pay him. I looked him straight in the eye and said: ‘Muhammad, I haven’t got a dollar.’ He responded ‘Not even a dime? You have more nerve than Frazier.’

The full story is here, and it’s a cracker.


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