Picture: Irish lad gatecrashes Muhammad Ali's birthday party 8 years ago

Picture: Irish lad gatecrashes Muhammad Ali's birthday party

One Donegal man had his dream come true when he met the great man himself on his 72nd birthday

Tony Kelly, originally from Donegal but now living and working in Louisville, Kentucky, thought that his colleagues were taking the mick when they told him that boxing great and all-round legend Muhammad Ali lived across the street from the house they were working in, fixing broken pipes.

Advertisement

Tony, 24, wasn't one to simply sit there idle, so he decided to prove them wrong and walk across the road and knock on the door. To his surprise, it was Ali's wife Yolanda who greeted him, and he told her how he was a huge fan from Ireland and would love to meet his hero if he was in.

Kelly told the Donegal Daily that he has "always been a massive Muhammad Ali fan and never thought that I would ever get the chance to meet the legend", but his wife was more than friendly to the young Irishman. "She told me that Muhammad was unavailable at the moment and to call back in an hour’s time, and that he would be delighted to meet one of his Irish fans as he is proud of his Irish heritage."

Sure enough, he did exactly that an hour later, and happened to be walking in on Ali ion his birthday. That didn't stop him from posing for a few pictures with the unexpected visitor though, and it's certainly an experience that Tony won't forget in a hurry.

Muhammad Ali

Advertisement

Kelly moved to Louisville in 2012 to be with his wife Megan, according to what he told The Irish Independent, and the couple now have one son. He said he was "over the moon" to meet Ali, and that his co-workers were pretty surprised when he came wandering back over with a picture of himself and the boxing legend in hand.

Kelly added "Muhammad Ali has fans all over the world and he is such a people person that they didn’t mind me calling by, but it was just a ballsy move that paid off for me and I got to meet a true living legend."

Hat-tip to Breaking News for the picture, as well as The Independent and The Donegal Daily for the quotes