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World of rugby pays tribute to former star; OBITUARY: Bert Godwin, who was a terrace hero at Coundon Road, dies at 70.

Byline: By Dean Valler and Steve Evans

TRIBUTES have been paid to one of Coventry Rugby Club's greatest players, hooker Bert Godwin, who has died, aged 70.

The England international, who represented his country 11 times, was a terrace hero at the club's old Coundon Road ground before officially retiring in 1968 after about 250 appearances for the club. He made his England debut against France in 1959.

Mr Godwin was part of the feared front row with Phil Judd and Mike McLean and also played for the British Lions, touring Australia and New Zealand.

Ex-Coventry and Warwickshire team-mate George Cole, of Cannon Drive, Ash Green, Exhall, said Mr Godwin was a "super bloke and a very good ball- playing hooker".

Mr Cole, who is still Warwickshire's record points scorer, recalled Mr Godwin being called up for the British Lions on a tour of South Africa.

He said: "The England international record books have him down as H.O. Godwin but the O was a made-up initial.

"When Bert was first selected for England every other player in the team had at least two initials, so the Coventry lads suggested he tell them his second initial was O.

"It was only later that Bert realised it spelled out HOG - but it was too late by then, the match programme had been printed and he had to stick by the initials."

Mr Godwin was born in Blaenavon, Wales, moving to Crosbie Road, Chapelfields, Coventry, when he was a boy.

He was evacuated to Wales during the Second World War but moved back to Coventry, living in Allesley Old Road, and was a foreman at Massey Ferguson until 1977.

He married Pamela, nee Stubbs, now aged 68, at Hearsall Baptist Church, near Hearsall Common, in 1959. The couple had three children, Karen, Allison and Lorraine (deceased).

The family moved to Teignmouth, in Devon, in 1977, to run a guest house. Mr Godwin, who retired in 2000, also leaves three grandchildren.

Daughter Karen Jones, a buyer for Co-op, said: "Dad will be greatly missed by all his family and friends. He was a star on the pitch and off it."

Mr Godwin's funeral is at Torquay Crematorium at 10am on Tuesday. Representatives of Coventry Rugby Club will be attending. The family said any friends and ex-team-mates would also be welcome.


POPULAR... Bert Godwin in 1971 and (right) the hooker in action in 1967
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Article Type:Obituary
Date:Jan 14, 2006
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