Olympic legend Tommy Godwin dies

By Chris Willmott Monday 05 November 2012 Updated: 08/11 12:49

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Buy photos » Tommy carrying the Olympic Torch through Solihull before the Games.

SOLIHULL'S Double Olympic medallist Tommy Godwin has died aged 91.

Godwin, a retired track cyclist, who was heavily involved in the sport throughout his life, died at the Marie Curie Hospice on Saturday morning (November 3) - just a short distance from his Knowle home.

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

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.

Godwin 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.

The cycling word was quick to pay tribute to the legend after his passing was announced by British Cycling on Saturday.

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 tweetd: "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."

Meanwhile British Cycling president Brian Cookson paid tribute, adding: "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."

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

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

He became interested in cycling because of the Olympic Games in 1936.

Godwin began racing three years later and rode the fastest 1,000m of the season at the Alexander Sports Ground.

He was invited to trials in the Midlands to find riders for the next Olympics, despite not yet having won a race.

He later ran a bike shop in Kings Heath and lived in Knowle.

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