Some little known sports memories

SIR – I have read with a good deal of interest the numerous letters regarding well-known sportsmen/women from this area. I would offer a little bit of sports history in this context probably known by very few of your readers.

In 1956 what was then Blackthorn Primary School had a very successful football team, coached by well known teacher Tom Barker.

Three members of this team later came to represent Great Britain at three different sports, quite an achievement for any school.

Andrew Gibson, a crack shot with the pistol, represented Britain at this event in the 70s. Andrew joined the Navy from school and later, the police.

Roger Potter, son of local man Reg Potter, himself captain of the 1948 British Olympic water polo team, chose a career in the military and represented Britain in the bobsleigh event.

The third team member, Calvin Lewis, my husband, won two British titles at weightlifting at two different weight categories in the early 70s and held several British records.

Calvin ended his career in 1974 after competing in the World Championships, where he came sixth in the 100 kilo category.

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Clearly Nick Faldo is the best sportsman to have come from this area, but I believe that Calvin has a reasonable claim to be regarded as the second best.

In any event, he must surely be the strongest athlete to have been produced locally.

Gwenda Lewis,

Broom Hill,


PS: Out of interest I have enclosed a photocopy of a photgraph taken in the spring of 1971, showing Calvin lifting 285 kilos, at a body weight of 88 kilos..