Barry's story

Muhammad Ali.png

Resident Barry Holden, who lives at Farren Court in St Leonards on Sea, shared with us his memory of meeting boxing legend Muhammad Ali.

Barry said: "I worked along with many of the stars during my career.

"I was lucky enough to work all over the world on many flash places, in many roles.

"One of my biggest, and the highlight of my career, was meeting the most highly-rated man of the people, the greatest, Muhammad Ali.

"I was working for the royal family in Qatar in a club used by diplomats from all of the world. My title was Sports and Recreation Director and during my time I introduced the start of the Qatar Open tennis tournament.

"One day in 1991 we were invited by the American ambassador to a function on board the Ulysses S Grant, a massive war ship. 

"As we tucked into our drinks and canapés a voice crackled over the tannoy system 'ladies and gentlemen will you all please be upstanding and welcome the three time heavyweight champion of the world Muhammad Ali'. 

"We all looked at each other and grinned thinking it was a joke when all of a sudden there was a figure shuffling towards us - the greatest, the prettiest, float like a butterfly sting like a bee and I was in his company.

"The best feeling I've ever had. I spoke to him and he spoke to me. Wow! Dreams do come true."