A Shipley-born cyclist who won the Tour of Britain and claimed a silver medal at the 1948 Olympics in London, has died aged 91.
At the Olympics Gordon ‘Tiny’ Thomas won a silver medal in the team road race alongside Bob Maitland and Ian Scott. He also competed in the individual event, coming 8th out of 101 other competing cyclists.
After his Olympic experience, he went on to win the 1953 Tour of Britain before retiring from cycling to spin out a new career in the wool trade business.
He got his nickname ‘Tiny’ from joining the Yorkshire Road Club when he was 12-year-old boy and proved to be one of its best “all-rounders.” After his 1953 win he promptly announced his retirement at the age of 32, saying he did not have enough time to fit in all the training and in that past year cycling had been little more than a hobby to him because of his business in Bradford. Despite never racing again, he kept up his interest in the Yorkshire Road Club and still attended the annual luncheon in recent years.
In 2005 when he was 83 and living in Baildon he spoke to the Telegraph & Argus, backing London’s bid to Mr Thomas had been in the T&A earlier that year after he and other Olympians were invited to meet the Queen to celebrate the centenary of the British Olympic Association.
Thanks to that article appearing he was also reunited with the jersey he wore when he won the Tour of Britain in 1953 and had given away to Gerry Poole – the man who he said had first got him interested in cycling competition after spotting him out on his bike playing with friends.
Mr Poole’s son Richard had wanted to give it him back after more than 55 years.
Mr Thomas died at Thorpe Hall in Peterborough after moving from the district in his later years. He leaves sons David and Trevor.
His funeral takes place at Nab Wood Crematorium, Shipley, next Tuesday, at 12.40pm. Donations to the Sue Ryder cancer charity.