Four-minute mile man’s tribute to running mate

The Oxford Times: Chris Chataway, centre, and Chris Brasher holding up a photograph of Bannister breaking the four-minute mile in 1954. Chataway, the former 5,000 metres world record holder, acted as a pacemaker to help  Bannister become the first man to break the barrier Chris Chataway, centre, and Chris Brasher holding up a photograph of Bannister breaking the four-minute mile in 1954. Chataway, the former 5,000 metres world record holder, acted as a pacemaker to help Bannister become the first man to break the barrier

FOUR-MINUTE mile legend Sir Roger Bannister yesterday paid tribute to Sir Christopher Chataway, the man who was by his side when he broke the historic record in 1954.

The Oxford resident, 84, paid tribute to Sir Christopher, who passed away yesterday morning, aged 82.

He was a pacemaker with Chris Brasher to help Sir Roger become the first person to run a mile under four minutes at the Iffley Road track.

The Magdalen College graduate went on to careers in athletics, broadcasting and politics.

Sir Roger told the Oxford Mail: “He was one of my closest friends for more than half a century so I will remember him with great affection. My thoughts go to his widow Carola and the rest of his family. He was, of course, known for his running, but it should not be forgotten that he had other careers as well.”

Sir Roger said: “He excelled in these other fields but our friendship involved our run together. We were companions in good times and in bad times and I shall remember all the fun we shared together.

“He was a family man and all those he knew were very fond of him. All his friends, I am sure, will miss him greatly.”

In 1954, Sir Christopher set a new world record for the 5,000-metres and was that year named the BBC’s first Sports Personality of the Year.

He is survived by his sons Mark, Matthew, Adam, Charles and Ben, his daughter Joanna, his wife Carola and his former wife Anna.

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