SUNDAY 12TH DECEMBER 1999: Ali Puts Things in Perspective
We travel down to Fareham for the day to see Jane's parents. In the evening it is the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and quite rightly Muhammad Ali wins the title of sports personality of the century, millennium, era, epoch or however they have notionally defined it. He shuffles on stage, and you can barely bear to watch - is he going to fall over? It is impossible to know how aware he is of what is going on. Does he know where he is or what he has won? I can't decide whether it is unbearably sad or somehow inspiring - probably both. When you think about what he has achieved and his current state it does put my parochial little concerns about NatWest and my job into some sort of perspective.