Award winning broadcaster and world famous boxing commentator Bob Sheridan has been confirmed as a guest speaker at an event marking the first anniversary of Muhammad Ali’s visit to Ennis.
Ali, the three-time World Heavyweight Champion was named the first Honorary Freeman of Ennis in 1st September 2009 in recognition of his career achievements and his ancestral links with the Clare County Capital. Over 15,000 people watched ‘The Greatest’ receive a Civic Reception before embarking on a drive through the streets of Ennis and a personal visit to the ancestral home of his great grandfather Abe Grady.
Ennis Town Council, supported by Alltech – the global animal health and nutrition leader, headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky and which facilitated Muhammad’s trip to Ireland in 2009 will host “Celebrating The Greatest – An evening with Barry McGuigan” at Glór in Ennis at 8pm this Wednesday 1st September.
The evening’s entertainment will commence a screening of a specially commissioned half-hour video feature on the now famous 2009 visit. The screening will be followed by an intimate questions and answers discussion with former world featherweight champion Barry McGuigan about his career. The discussion will be chaired by well known broadcaster Caimin Jones. The evening will conclude with live music from the Kilfenora Ceili Band
Meanwhile, Ennis Town Council will host a community fun day at Glór along with street entertainment throughout the town on Saturday 4th September. Free screenings of the specially produced feature on Muhammad Ali’s 2009 visit will take place on Saturday at Glór.
Bob Sheridan (nickname “the Colonel”) is an international celebrity having broadcast over 10,000 fights on radio and television, with over 725 world title fights in a career spanning parts of five decades from the late 1960’s to the new millennium.
Some of his accomplishments include anchoring the world feed of the first live heavyweight championship telecast —George Foreman vs. Muhammad Ali in the 1974 in the historic “Rumble in the Jungle”—in Zaire, Africa. The fight was telecast to an audience exceeding 1 billion people. Sheridan, who was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 2004, also commentated the first heavyweight fight out of the Philippines—”The Thrilla in Manila” featuring Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier in 1975.
According to Mayor of Ennis Cllr. Tommy Brennan: “It is important that County Clare celebrates its connection with one of the greatest sporting icons of all time. However, this week’s events go further in that they promote the importance of participation in sport as well as Muhammad Ali’s own conviction of being the best that you can be. Plans are already in motion to develop an annual event, one that will engage the wider community in Clare, based around this theme.”
Commenting on the County Clare’s association with ‘The Greatest’, Mayor Brennan stated: “Muhammad Ali is the most recognisable man on earth and remains a magical figure, known and loved throughout the world. We were honoured that he accepted the Council’s offer of becoming the town’s first Honorary Freeman which we deemed to be thoroughly deserved in light of his unrivalled sporting achievements on the world stage, and his contribution to educational and charitable causes through his global fundraising foundation, the Alltech-Muhammad Ali Center Global Education and Charitable Fund.”
John Thornton, Managing Director of Alltech Ireland said: “Throughout and beyond his career, Muhammad Ali has fought for those challenged by obstacles outside of the boxing ring. Forming the Alltech – Muhammad Ali Center Global Education and Charitable Fund, Alltech was delighted to join The Greatest in this noble endeavour, which mirrors the company’s own objectives to nurture learning and charity around the world. To mark the anniversary of the occasion, Alltech is once again delighted to be able to lend its support to the town of Ennis for what promises to be a truly memorable day.”
Muhammad Ali’s ancestor Abe Grady emigrated from County Clare to the United States in the 1860s. He eventually settled in Kentucky, where he married an African-American woman. Their son also married an African-American and one of the daughters of that union was Ali’s mother, named Odessa Lee Grady. She married Cassius Clay, senior, and they settled in Louisville, where their son was initially given his father’s name on his birth in 1942.
Note To Editor:
- A limited number of tickets for ‘Celebrating The Greatest – An evening with Barry McGuigan’ are available for members of the media interested in covering the event. Please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy PR on 086-8534900 or email@example.com
- Alltech is the proud sponsor of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games to be held in Lexington, Kentucky, September 25 – October 10, 2010. For more information on the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and to purchase tickets while they are still available, visit www.alltechfeigames.com or call +1-888-934-2010.