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Page last updated at 14:37 GMT, Friday, 3 July 2009 15:37 UK

Boxing legend Ali to visit Stoke

Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson's Syndrome in 1984

Legendary boxer Muhammad Ali will visit Stoke City's Britannia Stadium for a luncheon event on Thursday, 27 August.

The 67-year-old will be in the UK to help raise awareness, support and funding for the Muhammad Ali Centre in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.

"The UK is very close to my heart," the three-time heavyweight champion said.

"I want to visit again not only to raise awareness for the Muhammad Ali Centre, but to re-visit a wonderful country and all my friends here."

Stoke chief executive Tony Scholes told the club website: "I'm delighted to say we've secured an agreement for Muhammad Ali to visit Stoke-on-Trent.

"He is only visiting three stadiums in the United Kingdom - Old Trafford in Manchester, Wembley Stadium in London and the Britannia Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent.

"It's going to be a fabulous event at the Britannia Stadium to welcome a true sporting legend."

It is not the first time Stoke City have welcomed a boxing legend - Sugar Ray Leonard visited the Britannia Stadium in September 2008 and watched the team lose 2-0 to Chelsea.

Ali, who is considered by many to be the greatest boxer of all time, was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 1984, but remains an active and much-loved public figure.



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