Britain sports icon Roger Bannister pass away aged 88


His time was 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds and the crowd erupted into rapturous cheers as soon as the announcer read out "three", confirming he'd broken the four-minute mile.

Bannister, known for strong finishes, passed Landy in the final turn to win what became known as the "Miracle Mile".

By then Bannister was having trouble walking, let alone running, after revealing he was suffering from Parkinson's disease.

Bannister died on Saturday at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, the same hospital he trained at as a medical student.

His family has issued a statement, breaking the tragic news "Sir Roger Bannister, died peacefully in Oxford on 3rd March 2018, aged 88, surrounded by his family who were as loved by him, as he was loved by them". "He banked his treasure in the hearts of his friends". His record only lasted 46 days, but it was enough for him to go down in history.

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Brasher's son Hugh, London Marathon event director, said Bannister's achievement puts him "at the very top" of athletics' all-time greats.

Roger Bannister breaks the four-minute mile on May 6, 1954.

"The world seemed to stand still, or did not exist", he wrote in his book, "The First Four Minutes".

"It was as much a psychological as it was a physical barrier and Bannister's success allowed mankind to enter a new world filled with possibilities", he added.

"We have all lost a giant and, for many of us, a deep and close friendship".

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Steve Ford, chief executive of Parkinson's United Kingdom said: "We're very saddened to hear of the death of Sir Roger Bannister. It is very hard to break records during Olympic competition, but winning races was better than holding world records".

British long-distance runner Jo Pavey, a former European champion over 10,000 metres, said Bannister was a "true hero". He was such a gentleman, so able to give encouragement to all the generations of athletes coming through and he'll be so sorely missed. What he did do, he left this massive, massive legacy. His assault on the four-minute barrier was meticulously planned and beautifully executed. "I'd like to see it as a metaphor not only for sport, but for life and seeking challenges". As chairman of the Sports Council between 1971 and 1974, he developed the first test for anabolic steroids.

British Athletics: "All at British Athletics are incredibly saddened by the passing of Sir Roger Bannister at the age of 88".

"He was a man of great distinction and honour in every sense. Rest in Peace Roger". Like the first man on the moon, Bannister was already a legend.

Cram, who broke the mile world record in 1985, told Reuters in Birmingham:"Bannister really started off that great British tradition of great middle-distance runners which people like Seb (Coe), Steve (Ovett) and myself were able to continue".

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