Franks personal message to all his fans December 2011
Itís been a difficult year emotionally for me this year. Last year I had to say goodbye to my trainer Terry Lawless and this year I have had to say goodbye to 4 very different people, all of which have been key characters in my life.
Firstly Garry Mason, Gary and I used to spar and train together. Some days when as a pro sportsman, you donít necessary want to put in that extra mile or that extra half hour in the gym or pounding the streets. Gary and I used to encourage each other, push each other and Gary was very much part of my early training regimes. We spent many many hours perspiring and putting down the stepping stones for our eventual boxing careers. Although we drifted apart as our careers went in different directions, you donít necessary have to be on the phone to someone all the time or see them at regular occasions to make them any less a good acquaintance for which Garry was. It was such a shock, particularly in the way he died.
Sir Henry Cooper--- as a kid when I used to watch television, a lot of the reruns of Henryís fight including the famous Ali fight, which seemed to be repeated quite a lot when I was a kid. Henry after retiring from boxing, it would be fair to say he became a professional Ambassador for boxing (not that he wasnít when he was boxing). He always had time for everybody from kids of all ages to old boys who wanted to talk about boxing in the 40ís and 50ís. He and I attended many boxing shows, whether it was amateur, the services or professional boxing; he just loved the sport and also loved to see new faces coming through. He always told me the modern boxers would not have had it so easy against the boxers of his day always with a twinkle in his eye I never knew if he was joking or not!
When his wife died it would be fair to say that part of Henry died as well. When his twin brother also died it was sadly then just a matter of time before we lost Henry. In the last years of his life he became a former shadow of himself,
I only hope that I could ever wish to become a fraction of the Gentleman that Sir Henry was. I would also love to gain the same respect across the world from young and old that people had for him. A Legend that will be surly missed.
Joe Frazer ------Legend is a word too widely used but this man--- what a boxer the fights against Ali I wish as a youngster I had a video player. The man was immense and a very humble man again I have enormous respect for the legacy he left as a boxer
Then finally to my old mate Jimmy Saville Ė Jimmy I met probably on the celebrity circuit maybe 20 to 30 years ago. It was Jimmy who kept reminding everybody that was listening when you get to a position of celebrity status as seen by the public it is then your duty to give back some time without any hesitation for those less fortunate than yourself. He would tell me not to always do this publicly but away from the public and media eye always to try and help out those that perhaps have not been fortunate in life both physically & mentally. Jimmy and I used to do various marathons and half marathons together. He quite often used to phone up and ask me to go and join him visiting young offenderís institutions and prisons. All this was away from the public glare and media spotlight, but just to try and give some quality time to a lot of people in prison and hopefully try and educate them that it was better behaving yourself and to be on the outside as opposed to the inside.
I also very quietly celebrated my 50th birthday this year. I didnít want to make a great fuss of it, it was relatively quiet. I still feel like a young man and glad my body is still in good shape for a 50 year old and I still enjoy life and training everyday.
As we near Christmas and the New Year, may I take this opportunity of thanking each and everyone of the people who have had some interest in my life for your kind wishes, your tweets, comments made not only in person but various letters and cards and e-mails that we regularly receive.
It has been wonderful meeting quite a number of you in the last year and looking forward to another year when hopefully we can do the same.
Think of others less fortunate than yourself this Christmas and wherever possible see if you can do just one good turn for someone that would appreciate it. If the whole of the world was to do this a Happier Christmas would have been enjoyed by all.
If you are drinking and partying over Christmas be safe, be sensible, and responsible.
Thanks to all the people that have booked me this year, all those who have bought tickets to see me this year and I really look forward to renewing friendships, & making new friends in 2012.
Love and very best Wishes