Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Irish plumber celebrates Muhammad Ali's birthday with The Greatest on a whim

What if your dream was to meet your childhood hero and — after curiously knocking on a strange front door — got invited inside to celebrate their birthday with him.

That's what happened to an Irish plumber when he finally got to meet his lifelong idol, boxing legend Muhammad Ali after being egged on by his friends.

Tony Kelly, originally from County Donegal in Ireland, was on a job out in his new home of Louisville, Kentucky, when his American co-workers told him that Ali lived just a few yards away on the opposite side of the street.

The 24-year-old plumber was convinced it was a joke, but is such a huge fan of the boxer that he walked across the road and knocked on the door, in order to absolutely rule out Ali being a resident — regardless if it was a prank or not.

The serendipitous knock paid off and to Kelly’s amazement, Ali’s wife, Yolanda, answered the door and invited him in to meet the former heavyweight champ and help him celebrate his 72nd birthday.

A stunned Kelly - who moved in 2012 to Louisville, with his American wife, Megan — had his picture taken with his hero and told The Irish Independent just how astonished he was.

"I knocked on the door and Ali's wife Yolanda answered," he said."And I just asked would be possible for one of his greatest fans from Ireland to meet him.

"She said 'of course' and invited me in and there he was (Ali) sitting in the living room. I was over the moon. I honestly thought it was a wind-up so it was a shock to meet Ali and his lovely wife. They were so pleasant."

This knock, knock joke was squarely on Kelly's friends.

"My workmates weren't winding me up after all," he said. "But they were the ones who were shocked when I walked back to work and showed them the picture of me with Ali. It was just awesome."

Ali — widely considered to be the best heavyweight boxer the world has ever seen — has been battling Parkinson’s disease since 1984.

But he's still The Greatest.

No comments:

Post a Comment