Muhammad Ali's daughters describe their final goodbyes

Muhammad Ali's daughters have described how they kissed him on the cheeks and assured him that he was the "best father in the whole entire world" after they learned he was close to death.

Rasheda and Jamillah Ali, two of the boxer's nine children, said they were sure that he heard their goodbye messages as they gathered to pay tribute.

In an interview with ITV News, Rasheda said her father was "gleaming" with pleasure to learn that he was the centre of worldwide attention amid concerns over his failing health.

Her sister added they took turns to kiss him on both cheeks and promised to continue his legacy in some of their last words with him.

Rasheda and Jamillah sit on their father's lap as youngsters. Credit: Rasheda Ali
Rasheda laughs alongside her father Muhammad Ali. Credit: Rasheda Ali
Rashida hugs her father Muhammad Ali. Credit: Rasheda Ali

Rasheda said she had told Ali he was the "best father in the whole entire world" after she was warned that he had become badly ill.

"You're causing a whole lot of commotion right now by you being sick," she recalled telling him.

"I knew he was looking at me gleaming and excited because he loved the attention."

Ali had a huge sense of fun - and loved attention, said his daughters Credit: Reuters
Rasheda and Jamillah on stage alongside their father Muhammad Ali. Credit: Rasheda Ali

The sisters also shared personal memories of their father as "great practical joker" with a love for magic tricks and a huge sense of fun.

"My dad was such a kid at heart and we had so much fun together," said Rasheda.

"He didn't leave the house without his little thumb and handkerchief trick, because he would go up to strangers in the street and he would say 'Let me show you a trick.'"

"He was just full of love and joy and that's what I miss that most about him," she added.