Son of Edith and Roland ,John was born in Coventry in 1942 . John started riding a bike at a very early age, usually off road around the cleared areas and bomb sites that were all over Coventry at that time. He started racing at the age of 17 in 1959 and enjoyed great success in both road and off road events..
John won his first national cyclo cross title in 1961 at the age of 19. He wasn’t expected to win at all, and did so by attacking a group of four that had shared the lead until the final closing stages of the race. He made his move by taking a line to the left of some bushes when all the other riders had been going to the right, it was actually a bit of a ‘long cut’ but being out of sight for a few seconds meant that he could launch himself towards the finish without being followed. It worked and he arrived on the finish straight with a few seconds in hand, enough to take the win.
He took the title again in 1962 but was then sidelined with a stomach ulcer over the next few years. He returned in 1966 to take the title once more and recalls this as his ‘sweetest victory’ as he had doubted his chances of ever taking the title again. Nothing was further from the truth, the next 10 to 12 years would see a domination that had never been seen before or would be again for a very long time.
At the world champion ships in Luxembourg 1968 John finished 5th the highest ever placing by a Brit still to this day.
John tuned professional in 1968 for Mash and Baxter , under the management of David Duffield the now famous TV commentator. One year later he would switch to the Carlton cycles team at which he would stay for 5 years. (1970-1975)
In 1975 he signed for Viscount Shimano (1975-1978) and 3 years later his final professional contract was with Harry Quinn cycles which would take him to retirement in 1979.
British cyclo cross champion senior 1961,1962,.
British cyclo cross champion Amateur 1966
British cyclo cross champion Professional 1969,1970,1971,1972,1973,1974,1975
British cyclo cross open champion (pro and amateur) 1977.
5th Amateur world championships 1968 Luxembourg
7th Professional world championships 1970 Belgium
7th professional world championships Crystal palace London.
Tour of the fosse
Five valleys Road race
Casletown Kermesse Isle of Mann
Finisher Paris to Nice