With thanks to Graham Webb and the “Made in Birmingham” site
The Tour of Britain’s technical director, world and Olympic medallist, and the driving force behind this year’s Grand Départ of the Tour de France in London, Michael Bennett, started his cycling and technical director career on the footpath outside Tommy Godwin’s cycle shop in Silver Street, Kings Heath. This wide eyed teenager bumped into Graham Webb while drooling over all the racing equipment in Tommy’s shop window, 1964. Graham took him home and showed him a laundry sack full of medals and trophy’s, Bennett was hooked for life on a terrible habit called cycle racing.
Tommy Godwin in 1964.
This is just an illustration of how important a role Tommy Godwin and his shop at Silver Street played in the history of British cycling. Tommy’s shop was a central hub where world class and sub-top cyclists would meet nearly every day for a chat with Tommy, how he ever got any work done I’ll never know. http://madeinbirmingham.org/godwin.htm
In 1963 Tommy became the first ever paid National cycling coach of Great Britain and after being all day in his shop, spent most evenings and weekends encouraging young cyclists to achieve their goals. Michael Bennett later won two bronze Olympic medals (1972 Munich and 1976 Montreal Games) and Graham Webb became cycling world road race champion in 1967, National 10 mile 25 mile and 1 hour record holder, 1966, all done to a schedule worked out by Tommy Godwin and set at Salford Park in Brum.
In 1966 Tommy started his own cycling club, called the Birmingham Racing Cyclists Club. This is the club cloth badge that Tommy had made and was sewn onto the racing jerseys.
Though born in the U.S.A., in the roaring 20’s, Tommy was as proud as Brummie any native, he even talked like a Brummie! And how he could talk he was always trying to inspire young people. His wife, Eileen was very much a Brummie girl in her speech. They were blessed with a beautiful daughter, Kay, who even made it into the Olympic team, but not at cycling. Tommy himself won two Olympic bronze track medals at the 1948 summer games in London and was National track sprint champion. The circle is now round as Tommy is ambassador for the 2012 Olympic summer games in London; and Michael Bennett is already involved in organising the cycling events for the 2012 games! http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/Generat...=0&MENU_ID=126
Graham Webb 2007.
His autobiography It Wasn't That Easy: The Tommy Godwin Story was published in 2007 by John Pinkerton Memorial Publishing Fund.