Sir Roger Bannister, the First person to run a mile in less than four minutes, has died at the age of 88.

On 6 May 1954 Sir Roger managed to break a record that doctors and scientists thought was impossible, to run a mile in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds in front of a 3,000-strong crowd at Iffley Road track, owned by Oxford University where he was a student at the time.

His family released a statement announcing the sad news on Sunday 4 March saying the former athlete "died peacefully" the day before.

“Sir Roger Bannister, died peacefully in Oxford on 3 March, aged 88, surrounded by his family who were as loved by him, as he was loved by them," the statement said. "He banked his treasure in the hearts of his friends.”

Craig Glenday, Guinness World Records' Editor-in-Chief, paid tribute to Sir Roger.

"Sir Roger was the embodiment of record-breaking and the idea of pushing oneself to the limits of what's possible. His achievement at Iffley Road resonated around the world and – along with Hillary and Norgay's success on Everest the year before – captured the public's imagination and inspired a new fascination for record-breaking that continues to this day."

"For this, we owe Roger an enormous debt of thanks; he played a key role in the founding of Guinness World Records, and it was an absolute honour and privilege to count him as one of our friends and supporters. He had a rare humility and modesty, and always insisted that his achievements as a doctor and neuroscientist were far outweighed his success in the Miracle Mile. Our condolences with Lady Moyra."

Sir Roger was born in Harrow, London, UK and was a 25-year-old medical student at Oxford University when he achieved his goal to run a mile in under four minutes.

Regarded at the time as Britain's best middle-distance runner, he had contemplated giving up the sport following a fourth-place finish in the 1,500 metres at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics when he had been tipped to win the race.

Roger Bannister Craig Glenday

In 2015 Sir Roger was presented with a Guinness World Records certificate to mark his fantastic achievement and our 60th anniversary.

Recalling his achievement, he said: "The earth seemed to move with me. I found a new source of power and beauty, a source I never knew existed."

"Doctors and scientists said that breaking the four-minute mile was impossible, that one would die in the attempt. Thus, when I got up from the track after collapsing at the finish line, I figured I was dead."

His famous achievement wouldn't have been possible without the help of his pacesetters, Sir Christopher Chataway and Chris Brasher.

Sir Christopher died in 2014 while Brasher went on to become a co-founder of the London Marathon before passing away in 2003.

After his record-breaking achievement, Bannister also claimed the 1954 Commonwealth Games gold in the 1 mile race against rival John Landy from Australia, who had beaten run a mile faster than Bannister weeks after he had broken the four-minute mile barrier.

He won gold in the European Championships 1,500 metres in the same year too.

After retiring from athletics he focused on a career in medicine, becoming a neurologist, and was knighted in 1975.

sir roger bannister