doc

ONE year after his death, Lewisham has a memorial recognising boxing legend Henry Cooper - right above the front door of his childhood home.

News Shopper campaigned last year to get a memorial for Sir Henry, who grew up in Farmstead Road, Bellingham.

A petition organised by ward councillors and signed by 250 people had also called for a lasting tribute to the great man.

The house's current owner Arun Charan, 27, said: "It's a real honour.

"I'm a great boxing fan myself so when I found out Henry Cooper lived here I thought, wow, the man who floored Muhammad Ali used to live in my house."

Our 'Enry's family moved to the building in 1940, but the Cooper brothers were immediately evacuated during the war, returning two years later.

Both boys attended Athelney Primary School and Sir Henry later attended the Bellingham boxing club at the British Legion hall Ward councillor Cllr Ami Ibitson said: "A lot of residents actually remembered the family living here and being at school with Henry.

"Someone said to me it showed a person from Bellingham can go on and do great things."

Eldest son Henry Marco Cooper said in a statement: "It's a lovely feeling to know dad was so loved and so well thought of by so many people.

"We are very honoured and proud a plaque has been installed in Farmstead Road.

"Even though in those times it was a very tough period for everybody, dad had many fond memories of growing up there."

The plaque was unveiled on April 26, with a small crowd gathering to hear speeches made by Deputy Mayor of Lewisham Councillor Alan Smith and ward councillor Alan Hall.

They were joined by Phil Lundgren, an old friend of Mr Cooper, who now runs the British Boxing Board of Control.

There are 20 maroon plaques in Lewisham, celebrating famous residents who have passed away.

For information, visit lewisham.gov.uk and search for 'maroon plaques'.