I’ve read a few people paying tribute to Muhammad Ali by describing him as “probably the best sportsman of all time“. They are wrong. There is no “probably” about it. The man was a giant not only of boxing or sport but of life. He was/is universally adored for his genius, his charisma and his humanity.

Here are a few obituaries to The Greatest I think are really special and interesting.

This is Frank Keating of The Guardian whose obituary to Ali was written before his own death in 2013. Click here

Also in The Guardian is a brilliant time-line of Ali’s life – Click here

Gareth Davies of The Telegraph has an excellent tribute – Click here

As some of you will no doubt be aware Ali visited Newcastle and South Shields in the 1970s (I know because my old man dragged me along to get a glimpse of a man he adored). This piece enclosed written by Geordie Russ Routledge who formed a friendship with Muhammad Ali – Burgers with Muhammad Ali. Have a read of this wonderful story by just clicking here

Russ also had a book published about Ali’s visit to Tyneside and you can get a look at it here 

I’m sure if you pop into our own Backpage book store in Newcastle you’ll be able to pick up a copy. As I understand it, Paul Brown (author of All The Smiling Faces) supported Russ in the writing of the book.

No-one who is any kind of sports fan can’t have been captivated by the drama of sports photography. In many ways, Ali was the perfect subject for photography. If you want to have a look at the majesty of the King of the Ring then I’d recommend you have a look here

If you want to read more about Ali, might I recommend Norman Mailer’s classic The Fight. Click here

I read this book Muhammed Ali – His Life and Times, some time ago and if you haven’t read it, you might enjoy it. Click here

You might get these books from The Backpage. Worth having a look if you can.


In summary, Muhammed Ali set the bar in terms of the nobility of sport. Anyone who plays any sport should aspire to achieve Ali’s level of nobility. They never will though.