The spikes Roger Bannister wore when running the first ever sub-four-minute mile at Iffley Road in 1954 had carried an estimate of £30,000-£50,000
The shoes worn by Roger Bannister when he ran the first sub-four-minute mile at Iffley Road in 1954 have been sold for £220,000 at auction.
The spikes, which carried an estimate of between £30,000 to £50,000, were offered in the Christie’s ‘Out of the Ordinary’ auction at South Kensington on Thursday (September 10).
The hammer price was £220,000 – an amount which rises to £266,500 when the buyer’s premium is added.
Speaking ahead of the auction, Bannister had said: “These shoes are the last tangible link I have with the four-minute mile. All my trophies are now on display at Pembroke College Oxford, where I was Master.
“They served me great purpose, I’m grateful to them.”
Made by Charles Law of GT Law and Son, the spikes weighed just four and a half ounces.
“I could see there was an advantage in having the shoe as light as possible,” explained Bannister, who clocked 3:59.4 for the mile in Oxford on May 6, 1954.
“The leather is extremely thin and the spikes are unusually thin, as I used a grindstone to make them even thinner.”
Bannister, who went on to become a distinguished neurologist following his achievements on the track, revealed last year how he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
When announcing that he planned to sell the shoes at auction, he said he would give part of the proceeds to the Autonomic Charitable Trust as well as to other worthwhile causes in which he has an interest.