05:32AM, Wednesday 29 May 2013
Boxing fans and villagers will be knocked out to learn that the greatest boxer of all time Muhammad Ali once stayed in Wargrave.
The legendary boxer, formerly known as Cassius Clay, lived in Chris Cornford's Garden House in Bayliss Road when visiting the UK in 1992 to support the boxer Michael Watson who was injured in a bout against Chris Eubank.
During his stay Ali was taken for walks around the village but remained 'incognito'.
Chris, 60, who is selling the £1.5m property to move to Jersey with his wife Rachel, said Ali was charmed by his home, tucked away behind the High Street, and the village.
Chris was working for a company that was involved in charity work for Ali and suggested he could live in the Garden House because the boxer 'hated the prospect of staying in hotels.'
"He arrived with his twin daughters, wife and an entourage including two American police officers who accompanied him everywhere," said Chris, who has lived in Wargrave for 30 years.
Chris, who has a framed photograph of Ali and the Dracula actor Christopher Lee, was given a pair of signed boxing gloves by the 'champ' whose motto was 'float like a butterfly sting like a bee.'
The Beatles legend George Harrison also called in to see Ali during his stay in the home.
Chris, who works in the print industry and bought the house in the early 1980s, added: "I was very honoured to be able to spend time with Ali. He is the nicest, most humble man you could ever wish to meet."
The Garden House, which was built in 1790 and split in two in 1900, has been put on the market by Savills UK.
Chris added: "I have had a fantastic time here over the years with some crazy parties, but it also feels nice and homely."
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