Olympic legend Tommy Godwin dies

By Chris Willmott Monday 05 November 2012 Updated: 06/11 12:07

DOUBLE Olympic medallist Tommy Godwin has died aged 91.

Mr Godwin, who started his cycling career at the former Butts cycle track in Spon End, died at the Marie Curie Hospice in Solihull on Saturday.

He won two bronze medals at the 1948 Olympics in London in the team pursuit and kilometre time trial held at Herne Hill.

When the Games returned to the capital earlier this year, he was an official ambassador, carried the Olympic torch through his hometown of Solihull and was a keen supporter of Team GB at the velodrome in the Olympic Park.

He also visited Coventry in June to launch the Transport Museum's Pedals to Medals exhibition.

The cycling word paid tribute to him after his death was announced by British Cycling.

Sir Chris Hoy tweeted: "So sad to hear cycling legend and Olympic medallist from 1948, the great Tommy Godwin, has passed away."

Cycling commentator Phil Liggett also tweeted: "So sad to hear of the passing of Tommy Godwin, while I am in Africa. A gentlemen who achieved in sport and remained the nicest of people."

British Cycling president Brian Cookson said: "Tommy Godwin represented all that is great about our sport - a true gentleman who achieved great things as a competitor, a coach and an administrator.

"Our sport is privileged to have been associated with him."

Mr Godwin was born in Connecticut to British parents in 1920. His family returned to Britain in 1932.

His first bike was a Wrenson’s delivery bike which he used to run errands for a local grocer.

He became interested in cycling during the 1936 Olympic Games and started racing three years later. He was invited to trials in the Midlands to find riders for the next Olympics despite not yet having won a race.

After his competitive career came to an end, Godwin managed the British cycling squad at the 1964 Games in Tokyo, was president of the British Cycling Federation, ran the first British training camp in Majorca, and founded the Birmingham RCC.

He became Britain's first paid national coach in 1964 and trained a generation of British track riders, including Graham Webb, who beat the British hour record and won the world road race championship, and Mick Bennett, who won bronze medals at the 1972 and 1976 Olympics.

He also ran a bike shop in Kings Heath, Birmingham and lived in Knowle.

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