Boxer Ken's 'famous fighting hands' to be immortalised in stone
Fifty years on from his first professional fight and 40 years since he was voted ‘Britain’s Greatest Ever Boxer’, Ken Buchanan has been chosen to receive the prestigious 2016 Edinburgh Award.
Retired Ken, who has been selected to receive the accolade from a shortlist of nominations cast by the Edinburgh public, will receive an engraved Loving Cup from the city’s Lord Provost at a ceremony in early 2017.
His handprints will be immortalised on a flagstone in the City Chambers quadrangle. They will sit alongside those of previous Edinburgh Award recipients Sir Chris Hoy; George Kerr; JK Rowling; Ian Rankin; Professor Peter Higgs; Professor Richard Demarco; Tom Gilzean and, most recently, Sir Tom Farmer.
The Leith-born 71 year-old joined the Sparta club aged eight and turned professional in 1965. He famously fought on the same bill as Muhammad Ali in Madison Square Garden twice and was voted ‘Greatest Ever British Boxer’ in a 1978 poll organised by the sport's British trade newspaper, Boxing News.
Edinburgh’s Lord Provost Donald Wilson, said: “It’s no secret that I am a great supporter of Ken and the recognition that he so richly deserves. In many ways, a lasting tribute for him in his home city is long overdue, and it seems right to me that his name will go on the wall of the City Chambers and those famous fighting hands will be immortalised in stone.
“It is with great pride that we announce Ken Buchanan as the 10th person to be presented with the Edinburgh Award. He really has made an outstanding contribution to sport, and this award is the city’s way of recognising all that he has achieved in his career.”
Ken Buchanan said: “I am absolutely overwhelmed that this prestigious honour will be presented to me. The fact that I’ll have everlasting handprints cast in stone at the Royal mile is just amazing and I would like to thank everyone who voted for me.”
Ken Buchanan is the only living British fighter in the International Boxing Hall of Fame which he was inducted into in 2000 as a Boxing Undisputed World Lightweight Champion.