There have been just a few sportsmen down the years whose legend and reputation allows them to transcend beyond their own individual field of contest.
Muhammad Ali, Tiger Woods or Bjorn Borg are names that spring to mind. And then of course there is Pele, the Brazilian genius who is still regarded as the greatest footballer of any generation.
So at Boadicea the Victorious we were hugely proud to sponsor a glittering evening at the Savoy Hotel in January to honour the achievements of the man who won an unparalleled three World Cups.
Pele’s achievements are remarkable – Brazil’s all-time leading scorer, a record 1,283 career goals in 1,363 games, the youngest scorer in a World Cup and also the youngest to score a hat-trick in the World Cup and the youngest to win the World Cup.
Sadly ill health prevented the 77-year-old at the last minute from travelling from his home in Brazil to be at the dinner, held by the Football Writers Association, but that didn’t prevent a wonderful occasion from going ahead.
Guests, including current England football manager Gareth Southgate, heard stories from the incomparable Gordon Banks whose save from Pele in the 1970 World Cup in Mexico is still considered the greatest piece of goalkeeping in the game’s history.
Boadicea the Victorious provided table gifts for all the near 400 guests and CEO David Crisp was delighted to present a bottle of Blue Sapphire perfume to Mr Southgate. He said: “It was a thoroughly enjoyable occasion attended by many sporting celebrities, and we wished Gareth Southgate good fortune for this summer’s World Cup in Russia.