The firm handshake of Henry Cooper
Yesterday saw the funeral of Sir Henry Cooper.
I was fortunate to meet him in 1966 as we were both to appear on ATV Today. Henry was a hero of my youth and I was thrilled that I would be able to shake his hand. I have never forgotten my first sight of him when he came into the studio. He was wearing a tailored suit of the then fashionable thin shiny silk material. It was moulded to his body and I could see the muscles of the physique beneath. He radiated power and health and a controlled sort of menace.
For once I was lost for words when we were introduced.
As we shook hands I decided to give him the firm masculine handshake he would probably not expect from the long haired folkie in front of him. Unfortunately Henry returned the firm handshake with interest and my right hand was bonecrunchingly crushed. I made my excuses and headed for the gents where I used alternate cold and hot water to restore feeling to a hand that had to play the guitar a few minutes later.
The next night he was fighting Jefferson Davies, a stetson wearing American who was also on the show. One look at him was enough for me to know the result. KO first round… ‘Enery’s ‘Ammer!