SPORTS mad author John Godwin has drawn on his many and varied life experiences on and off the pitch to come up with a book full of anecdotes featuring his life growing up in Calne.

Mr Godwin has published Get Off The Bus which starts with his experiences as a boy at John Bentley School and interlaces humourous stories with pieces of local history.

When he tells the story of running away after a friend threw a snowball at a house window he manages to tell both the story of Calne born Walter Goodall George who ran a mile in four minutes 12.75 seconds in 1886 to take the world record and of JB Priestley who is said to have discovered oxygen at Bowood House in 1774.

Mr Godwin’s father, also called John, was regional transport director for the Harris bacon factory and for many years chairman of Calne Football Club.

The younger Mr Godwin, who now lives in Devon, said: “Much of my book is centred in Wiltshire with Calne and Swindon in particular. It goes through many sporting, travelling and business stories as diverse as taking the the 1969 Swindon Town Captain Stan Harland complete with the newly won League Cup for lunch at the George Inn at Sandy Lane after the team visited John Bentley when I was school football captain.

“As they held the cup aloft to the rapturous applause of the entire school. The head Mr Tickner then made an announcement about the lunch that I had no idea was coming.

“And so, an hour or two later we headed for the George Inn with me sat in the back with the League Cup on my lap.”

He also tells of how he made his first appearance for Calne Town after the manager and Pools winner Tim Beasley arrived at his house in Calne.. He writes: “A big yellow Mercedes car pulled up outside our house... He owned and ran a supermarket but was famous locally for a football pools win a few years earlier.

“A new bungalow and a Mercedes were testament to that. He had come into money and was happy to spend it. Good man.”

In chapter 12 Mr Godwin tells how he used a break from his job in finance as an opportunity to travel to Florida with his family.

He manages to make getting stuck on Daytona beach after driving on to soft sand into a bit of fun. He writes: “A group pushed us back to the hard stuff with one of them summing up the scene with ‘you guys must be British, yes.”

His book costing £12.50 including postage and packaging is available by ringing 01626 770447.