Thursday 1 June 2023

Henry Cooper of Wembley – free talk on Saturday 17th June 10.30am at Brent Civic Centre

Guest post by local historian Philip Grant

Back in November 2018, I wrote a short post about a blue plaque which had been unveiled in Ealing Road, to commemorate Sir Henry Cooper. The greengrocers business that he ran there, for three years in the 1960s, was called “Henry Cooper of Wembley”, and that is the name of a free illustrated talk which I will be giving at Brent Civic Centre on the morning of Saturday 17 June. I’m writing this article, so that as many local people as possible, who might wish to come along to my talk, are aware of it.



The talk has been arranged for that weekend, and that venue, because it will be the 60th anniversary of Henry Cooper’s famous boxing match at Wembley Stadium (a final eliminator, with the winner fighting for the Heavyweight Championship of the World) against Cassius Clay, aka Muhammad Ali.



The talk is not just about boxing, but also about Henry Cooper the man, who lived in Wembley with his family for fifteen years, at the height of his career. Although it is advertised as being at the Civic Centre's Wembley Library, the talk will actually take place in Boardrooms 4&5  as students will be revising for exams in the library itself. Because of this, if you are coming to the talk, please arrive between 10.15 and 10.25am, at the library entrance in the main Civic Centre atrium, so that a member of staff can take you up to the third floor in the lift.


Although this is a free talk, you need to book online, at the Brent Culture Service Eventbrite website, to reserve your place. To see more details, and to do that, please click HERE. I look forward to sharing Henry’s story with you, in words and pictures!


Philip Grant




Anonymous said...

Henry Cooper's boxing career can be seen as a reinforcement of individualism and bourgeois ideals, prioritizing personal success over collective well-being. Sports, including boxing, act as a diversionary tactic employed by the ruling class to distract the working class from engaging in revolutionary activities.

Cooper's participation in professional boxing represents a form of labor that is exploited and commodified by the capitalist system. Additionally, the violent nature of boxing perpetuates a culture of aggression and conflict, diverting attention from the need for collective efforts to address social inequalities.

Cooper's achievements and lack of overt political activism limit the transformative potential of his platform as a popular athlete.

Anonymous said...


Philip Grant said...

Dear Anonymous (2 June at 09.21),

Thank you for your comment.

I don't agree with much of what you say, although I do agree that boxing is a potentially violent sport, with the risk of injury and occasionall of death. It is not a sport that I ever wanted to take up myself, but I would not wish to prevent anyone from choosing to take it up if they wished to, although this should only be through an official boxing club, with properly qualified coaches.

I'd invite you to come along to my talk on 17 June, if you wish to find out enough about Henry Cooper, and the sort of person he was, so that you are better informed to make comments about him.

Anonymous said...

The 'seriously!?!?' was in response to the comments by 'Anonymous2 June 2023 at 09:21' - not to your comments Philip