Roger Bannister Dies Aged 88
Roger Bannister has died aged 88.
The sporting legend rose to fame as the first man to run a mile in under four minutes. Bannister ran a mile with a time of three minutes 59.4 seconds at Iffley Road sports ground in Oxford on 6 May 1954.
It stood as a world record for just 46 days but his place in athletics history was already cemented by that great sporting feat.
Bannister also won gold over the same distance at the 1954 Commonwealth Games.
Born in March 1929, in the London Borough of Harrow, Bannister was considered for the British team at the 1948 London Olympics, just two years after taking up running as a 17-year-old.
Bannister finally did earn a place in the team at the 1952 Games in Helsinki, where he set a new British record en route to fourth in the 1500 metres final.
However, the sporting legend saw running as a part-time pursuit, and devoted most of his time to medical excellence.
He went on to become a leading neurologist, and used his medical knowledge to devise his own training regime and investigate the mechanical aspects of running.
He continued to keep fit and active well into the 1970s, when he broke his ankle in a car accident. It was the same year he was knighted. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2011.
Bannister revealed he had the neurological disorder in a BBC interview in 2014, saying:
I have seen, and looked after, patients with so many neurological and other disorders that I am not surprised I have acquired an illness.
It’s in the nature of things, there’s a gentle irony to it.
His family announced his sad passing in his hometown of Oxford today.