Petition calling for Muhammad Ali to receive an honorary British knighthood signed by thousands

Thousands of people have backed a call for Muhammad Ali to be given an honorary knighthood Credit: REUTERS/Andreas Meier

A petition calling for boxing icon Muhammad Ali to be given an honorary British knighthood has been signed by more than 15,000 people.

Set up just four days ago by ex-world heavyweight champion David Haye the campaign asks for formal recognition of the sporting star and his work helping others.

The petition is more than half way to its target number of signatures Credit:

The petition, addressed to David Cameron reads:

Supporters of the campaign have described the call for a knighthood for Ali as a "no-brainer" and hailed the former boxer as "a legend" as well as paying tribute to his courage in the face of adversity both in his professional and personal life.

Foreign citizens occasionally receive honorary knighthoods or damehoods through UK orders if they are deemed to have made an important contribution to relations between their country and Britain. They are not dubbed, and they do not use the style 'Sir' or 'Dame'.