IF you thought that sportsmen have always led a pampered existence, their every whim being catered for, then the case of Norman Greenwood may change your mind.

Mr Greenwood, now 94, was one of the finest cyclists in the county during the late 1920s and 1930s.

A specialist in time trials, he was known as the Nelson Wheelers Flyer and picked up titles at events all around the country.

The main picture shows Mr Greenwood, formerly of Ruskin Street, Burnley, with his remarkable haul of trophies which he won in one year -- 1932. Local historian John Fleming from Whalley, himself a keen cyclist, has been doing some research into Mr Greenwood's career and has found a remarkable letter.

It came from Bill Bailey of the governing body of the day, the National Cyclists' Union, informing Mr Greenwood he had been selected to ride in the 1934 World Championships in Germany.

The whole tone of the letter is a far cry from looking after the egos of a sporting superstar.

Beginning 'Dear Greenwood' the letter even has suggestions on how to train for the championships. And forget the idea of an organised training programme with dieticians and sports psychologists. Mr Greenwood was simply told to be fit and determined to win.

"It is not a bit of use travelling to Germany unless one has taken every possible step to get oneself fit for the event," states the letter. "The NCU feels that it is not sufficient for a team to be sent to compete; that team must go to Germany with the confidence and the determination to win." Mr Greenwood still takes a keen interest in cycling which played such an important part of his life.