Het is vandaag precies honderd jaar geleden dat de Engelse wielrenner en coach Tommy Godwin werd geboren…
Godwin was born in Connecticut, United States to British parents in 1920. The family returned to Britain in 1932. He became interested in cycling because of the Olympic Games in 1936. Godwin began racing three years later, rode the fastest 1,000m of the season at the Alexander Sports Ground and won a 1,000m at The Butts track in Coventry. His chances of Olympic selection ended, however, with the second world war.
Godwin was an apprentice electrician in a reserved occupation during the war, working for BSA. But there was little competitive cycling and he rode at only 13 meetings between 1940 and the end of 1942. However, the change in war fortunes meant more sport in Britain from 1943. Godwin was unbeaten in five-mile scratch events and won the Cattlow Trophy at Fallowfield, Manchester, that year and in 1944. In the national championship of 1944, at which Harris made his breakthrough, Godwin won the five-mile. He repeated this success in 1945, adding the 25-mile title which he retained in 1946.
Godwin won two bronze medals, in the team pursuit with Robert Geldard, Dave Ricketts and Wilfrid Waters, and the 1,000m time trial at the 1948 Summer Olympic Games in London. He came third in the 1,000m at the 1950 British Empire Games (or The Commonwealth Games as they are now called).
Godwin managed the British cycling team at the 1964 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, became president of the British Cycling Federation and of the Solihull Cycling Club. He ran the first British training camp in Majorca. He was Britain’s first paid national coach and trained a generation of British track riders, many of whom won national and international titles and medals. They included Graham Webb, who beat the British hour record and won the world road race championship, and Mick Bennett, who won bronze medals in the team pursuit at the 1972 and 1976 Olympics. His autobiography It Wasn’t That Easy: The Tommy Godwin Story was published in 2007 by John Pinkerton Memorial Publishing Fund. (Met dank aan Wikipedia en de Wielersite)