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Solihull cycling legend Tommy Godwin dies, aged 91

DOUBLE Olympic medallist Tommy Godwin has died aged 91, British Cycling has announced.

tommy godwin

DOUBLE Olympic medallist Tommy Godwin has died aged 91, British Cycling has announced.

Knowle resident Tommy, who was heavily involved in the sport throughout his life, died at the Marie Curie Hospice in Solihull early on Saturday morning.

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, Tommy carried the Olympic torch through Solihull and was a keen supporter of Team GB at the velodrome in the Olympic Park.

Lord Coe had also appointed him as a sports ambassador for the 2012 Games, a role he took seriously both nationally and locally.

He was a frequent and popular speaker at local clubs and schools in the build up to the Games.

After his competitive career came to an end, Tommy 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.

Tommy 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 opened a bike shop in Kings Heath and went on to nurture his sport at grassroots level, becoming president of Solihull Cycling Club.

Born in America, he came to Birmingham at an early age and was encouraged into cycling by his father.

He quickly took to the sport, both competitively and recreationally, quickly carving a name for himself on the track.

Reaction was quick to come in the cycling world.

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

His message was re-tweeted by Joanna Rowsell, Olympic and world team pursuit champion.

British Cycling president Brian Cookson paid tribute, saying: "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."

Solihull News editor Ross Crawford added: Tommy Godwin was a truly great man, modest and good humoured.

He was a frequent visitor to our Solihull office and always brought with him good cheer and amazing tales of his cycling exploits. We will miss him.

 

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