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Old Un's Note

Old Un's Notes | Spring 2018


In mourning for Sir Roger Bannister who recalled a near-loss at the fathers' race at his children's school when he won Oldie of the Year

Oldie Towers is in mourning for Sir Roger Bannister, the first man to run a mile in under four minutes, in 1954.

He was also an eminent neurologist, Master of Pembroke College, Oxford, and our Oldie Long Distance Runner of the Year in 2015. When he graced Oldie Towers with his presence, he charmed everyone with his exceptional modesty and wit.

In his Oldie of the Year speech, he recalled running in the fathers’ race at his children’s school in the 1960s. Sir Roger didn’t bother putting on running clothes; he remembered wearing a waistcoat, fastened with gold buttons. When it came to the race, all the other fathers were obsessed with beating the great man. Sir Roger remembered it as literally a close-run thing; he won, he said, by the gold buttons on his waistcoat.


This story was from Spring 2018 issue. Subscribe Now