I met Sir Henry Cooper just the once. It was at a function marking a significant anniversary for Soldier magazine. I mentioned that my father covered his bouts back at the Elephant & Castle before he became a national icon. Probably didn’t use that phrase. Anyway, he promptly told me which newspaper my dad had been working for. Surprised me, because it was kind of the turf next door.
In his time, Henry Cooper held British, Commonwealth and European Heavyweight titles several times over. In someways, he was getting on a bit when he achieved that. And I defer to my dad on this point, apparently Cooper had a weak spot over one of his temples which would bleed when struck. It held him back in his chosen sport for ages.
Cooper unsuccessfully challenged Mohammed Ali for the World Championship in 1966. There were some memorable moments though. He twice won the BBC Sports personality of the Year through the public vote and so far is the only boxer to have been knighted.