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Tommy Godwin

Above: Tommy Godwin photographed outside his shop at 10-12 York Road. The shop is now "Quids Worth" but part of his cycle shop sign can still be seen below the current shop sign.

Hundreds of local residents and cyclists packed into Fletchers Bar on Sunday 18 May 2014 as the late Double Olympic Cycling Medallist Tommy Godwin who owned a cycle shop on Silver Street for over 30 years became the third star to be inducted inducted onto the Walk of Fame.
His daughter Kay Jones was presented with the replica star by Carl Chinn and fellow Olympic Cycling medallist Harry Reynolds.
The ceremony was filmed by BBC Midlands Today and broadcast on 19 May 2014.

Tommy was a double Bronze medallist at the 1948 London Olympics before becoming Britain's first paid national cycling coach in 1964. He carried the 2012 Olympic torch through Solihull and attended the London games before sadly dying in November that year.

The Award Ceremony came at the end of a great family fun day. On display was an exhibition of his life and visitors were able to take part in a Watt Bike Challenge to try and break Tommy's 1 km Olympic speed record. They could also to be photographed with the 2012 Olympic Torch Tommy so proudly carried through Solihull.

Tommy's daughter Kay Jones said, “We are delighted that Tommy has been honoured by the King's Heath Walk of Fame. He spent over 30 years running his cycle shop in Siver Street and was proud to provide a service for everyone from the elite peformance cyclist to children wanting their first bikes. He loved being part of the vibrant King's Heath community and it was marvellous to see so many old friends at this auspicious occasion. How he would have enjoyed the recognition”.

Ken Whittaker, one of the co-organisers of the King's Heath Walk of Fame, remembers the help Tommy gave him and his brother-in-law when they were involved in a Land's End to John O'Groats charity bike ride in the 1970's. He says “ I went to see Tommy at his cycle shop in Silver Street for advice, having not ridden much since my teens and he took us under his wing. He advised us on the training we should do and was kind enough to loan us bicycles. We decided to ride north to south, that's Jon O'Groats to Lands End because in our heads that made it all 'down hill'. Tommy found this amusing but encouraged us to do it 'our way', if that helped to keep us focused. He went to the trouble of keeping a check on our progress by phoning the agreed over-night stops, and he advised people in each area what we were doing and they were consequently very welcoming, many of them allowing us free accommodation and doing raffles to raise even more money for the charity. Tommy's kindness and professionalism got us through, we are sure we could not have done it without his help. He was one of the nicest gentlemen I have ever met”.

Bob Prew who co-organises the Walk of Fame said, "We were delighted so may local residents came to honour a true sporting legend who made such a contribution to the King's Heath community. The whole afternoon was a wonderful celebration of Tommy's life and achievements”.

Below: 1959 Advert for Tommy Godwin's Cycle Shop in Silver Street

 


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