Tommy Godwin - Cycling Legend
Winner of two bronze medals at the 1948 summer Olympic Games in
London, in the team pursuit and 1000m time trial, as well as coming third in
the 1,000m at the British Empire Games in 1950.
Tommy Godwin was born in 1920 in Connecticut, USA, to British
parents. The family returned to Britain in 1932. He became interested in
cycling because of the 1936 Olympics and was inspired by Arie van Vliet a 1000m
time trial rider and British Amateur Champion W.M. Maxfield. Godwin began
racing 3 years later and rode the fastest 1000m 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 having won a race.
Godwin was an apprentice electrician in a reserved occupation
during the war, working for the BSA in Birmingham. There was little competitive
riding and he rode at only 13 meetings between 1940 and the end of 1942. The
change in war fortunes meant more sport in Britain from 1943 and Godwin was
unbeaten in five mile scratch events and won the Cattlow Trophy in 1943 and in
1944.He repeated this success in 1945 adding a 25 mile title which he retained
in 1946. In 1949 he won the 4000m event.
After his successes at the 1948 Olympics, Godwin managed the
British Cycling team at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo and became president of
the British Cycling Federation and the Solihull Cycling Club. He ran the first
British Training Camp in Majorca and the first track course at Lilleshall. He
also founded the RCC. He was responsible for training a generation of track
riders many of whom won national and international titles and medals.*
Tommy worked for BSA from 1936 1950 and ran his own cycle
shop from 1950 in Silver Street, Kings Heath for 36 years. He was an ambassador
for the 2012 Olympics in London and was selected to participate in the Olympic
Torch relay carrying the torch for 300 meters through Solihull.
He died 3rd November 2012 aged 91.
*Graham Webb, who beat the British tour record and won the
road race championship
*Mick Bennett who won bronze medals at the 1972 and 1976