Ali was one of the greatest sportsmen of our lifetime

North Antrim DUP MLA Mervyn Storey pictured with Muhammad Ali. inbm24-16s
North Antrim DUP MLA Mervyn Storey pictured with Muhammad Ali. inbm24-16s

North Antrim DUP MLA Mervyn Storey has paid tribute to Muhammad Ali, who died on Friday at the age of 74.

Speaking to the Times, the former Ballymoney councillor met the boxing legend in 2005.

He explains: “I had the opportunity to be in Louisville for the National quartet convention in 2005 along with a number of friends. On the Wednesday of that week we decided to do our own thing. I decided to visit the recently opened Muhammad Ali Centre. Having spent sometime at the centre on my way out I had a conversation with a security guard, who on hearing that I was from Northern Ireland asked would I like to meet Mr Ali. You can imagine my surprise and very quick reply yes!!

“I then rang my friends and asked them to get to the centre very quickly. We were then taken to a room were Muhammad Ali was watching a fight on a large screen.

“We were individually introduced to him. It was once in a lifetime opportunity. I grew up watching Muhammad Ali and there is no doubt that he was one of the greatest sportsmen of our lifetime.”