The world has said a final farewell to Muhammad Ali.
Religious and political leaders, celebrities, sports stars and tens of thousands of other people gathered in a sports arena in the boxing great’s hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, for an interfaith service in his memory.
Ali’s widow, Lonnie, told mourners the family had been overwhelmed by the reaction and affection shown in the wake of her husband’s death, adding that he still had more to give.
“He wanted us to use his life and his death as a teaching moment for young people, for his country, and for the world. In effect, he wanted us to remind people who were suffering that he had seen the face of injustice, that he grew up in a segregation and that during his early life, he was not free to be who he wanted to be,” she told attendees at the service.
Among the pallbearers was actor Will Smith, who played the title role in the 2001 film ‘Ali,’ as well as heavyweight champs, Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis.
Stirring tributes were given by comedian Billy Crystal, journalist Bryant Gumbel and former US President Bill Clinton.
“I think he decided, something I hope every young person here will decide, I think he decided very young to write his own life story. God bless you my friend, go in peace,” said Clinton.
Fans lined the streets to pay tribute as the funeral procession passed on the way to Ali’s private burial.
The man born Cassius Clay died of septic shock on Friday, June 3. He was 74.