It said on the news that Muhammad Ali has died.
I am saddened. Muhammad Ali was as much part of my childhood as Project SWORD, Major Matt Mason, Dinky cars and Harold Wilson.
He was part of that unique band of icons who shone through the Sixties like brilliant diamonds: The Beatles, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, JFK and he himself.
As a boxer he was able to amaze, to mystify and to glorify, As a black man he was able to unify a post-war generation struggling in a seismic decade. I wasn't a boxing fan growing up. I wasn't a sport fan really but even my Dad, a true product of his time, loved Muhammad Ali.
Somehow rising above the mere throwing of punches, Ali danced gracefully across different worlds. His speeches were the rap of a Statesman using sport to transcend the ropes around him. As a kid I felt it too.
Back in 2000 at the NEC memorabilia fair I very nearly bought a vintage Muhammad Ali toy action doll. It was complete and boxed and my hand held onto to it for some time. Only the call of the Johnny Seven next door stopped me.
Like the Johnny Seven, Ali was a One Man Army, a man who made us all his soldiers in a fight to make this a better world, where everyone could be who they are.
As the decade we grew up in fades like Ali's soft footfalls in the ring, we are reminded of our own mortality once more. His sad passing brings us closer to our own.
Unlike Ali most of us live unremarkable lives. Yet back then, somehow, he made everyone bigger and better.
And so it is with a faint smile but a smile nevertheless that I say goodbye to yet another fond vista of my childhood and whisper that, yes, "he was the greatest".