Rest in Peace, Sir Roger Bannister. Seen here in the classic shot of him about to breast the tape at Iffley Road, Oxford becoming the first man ever to run a sub-four minute mile. Ably assisted by fellow athletes, Chris Brasher and Christopher Chataway. Not only a great athlete but a learned man and a gentleman in the true sense.
Reading about Roger’s great feat at Oxford and his modern, individualist thoughts on training were an inspiration to me as young teens middle-distance runner. For me he appeared to know exactly what he was trying to achieve and the way in which he would do it. The planning of the Iffley Road event was a final testament to that clear and uncluttered thinking.
Diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2011, his words when talking of the subject three years later were characteristic:
‘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.’
Dignity, greatness and an inspiration to all – Sir Roger Bannister