Town’s Olympic hero?

Charles Gotts
Charles Gotts
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CASTLEFORD grandma Jean Tomkinson is appealing for information about her sports star father who she believes competed in the 1936 Olympic Games.

Mrs Tomkinson, 73, is hoping to track down anyone who remembers weightlifting champion Charles Gotts who she says participated in the Berlin Games.

1936 Olympic Stadium

1936 Olympic Stadium

The retired pub landlady, of Pine Close, Smawthorne, says the only information she has about her father is from old newspaper clippings, which state that he won a clutch of British record titles.

But as he died from cancer in 1947 at the age of 36 – when she was just six-years-old – she never knew the full details of her father’s Olympic success.

She said: “My mum told me he was in the Olympics and it was general knowledge at the time, but I didn’t really understand it.

“I was only young when he died and although I’ve been trying to look for people to give me more information, I’ve had no luck.

“It hasn’t been for want of trying but everyone seems to have passed on.”

Mrs Tomkinson put an advertisement in the Express last month to highlight her dad’s sporting success and jog the memory of residents who may remember him.

She added: “He was a local man who was in the Olympics, so I thought it was appropriate to put an advert in the paper, because the Games are in London later this month.

“He was well known at the time so I hope this might help me in getting some more information.”

Mrs Tomkinson said her father, who was a builder by trade, lived at Middle Oxford Street in Castleford and stored building materials at premises in Cambridge Street, now a caravan storage business.

She received some of her dad’s mementos from a relative some years ago, including a scarf bearing the logo for the Olympic Games.

She added: “I thought it was fantastic he was in the Olympics, I’m very proud. But I don’t even know how he got on.

“I have a photograph of the Olympic stadium and a silk scarf which is very delicate which was sent to me by a cousin when his sister died, which has the Olympic flags and rings on it.”

Anyone with information should ring Mrs Tomkinson on 01977 246985.