‘Muhammad Ali reunited me with my mum on trip to Norwich supermarket’

Muhammad Ali at Ovaltine signing, Norwich 1971.

Muhammad Ali at Ovaltine signing, Norwich 1971.

Muhammad Ali's 1971 trip to Norwich to promote Ovaltine at T W Downs supermarket on St Stephens has gone down in city folklore. And one woman today recounted how the world's greatest boxer picked her up.

While there were dozens of Norwich fans eager to catch a glimpse of Ali during his visit to the city in 1971, one came particularly close.

Just three years old at the time, Kerry Ringer and her mother were in the city centre when they spotted one supermarket looking particularly busy.

They went over to have a look – but, soon after arriving, the little girl became lost in the crowds and was separated from her mother.

'I just remember there being a huge crowd outside a shop and I got lost in the crowd somehow,' she said.

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'Then I remember this tall man picking me up and saying 'whose is this little girl?' Then he handed me back to my mum.'

It was, of course, Ali – of whom Mrs Ringer has remained a fan ever since.

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'It is quite a good story to have I suppose and one I've always remembered,' she said.

'My dad is a big fan of his and I sometimes used to stay up to watch the boxing as well.'

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