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Tributes flood in for athletics hero Sir Roger Bannister

Tributes have poured in for Sir Roger Bannister, the British athlete who became the first man to run the four-minute mile, who has died aged 88.

Tributes have flooded in for record-breaking athlete Sir Roger Bannister following his death at the age of 88.

Some of the biggest names in athletics as well as politicians and celebrities took to Twitter to celebrate a great British hero.

The record breaker was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2011.

Four-time Olympic gold medal winner Sir Mo Farah tweeted: “I’m so sorry to hear the sad news about Roger Bannister. I met him several times throughout my career and he was always humble, supportive and encouraging.

“He was an inspiration to so many being the first man to break the 4-minute mile. My thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Paula Radcliffe posted: “Saddened to hear the news that we have lost one of the true pioneers, trailblazers and iconic inspirations of our sport. Sir Roger Bannister showed that barriers are there to be broken and there are no limits.”

International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) chairman and double Olympic gold medallist Lord Coe wrote: “This is a day of intense sadness both for our nation and for all of us in athletics.

“There is not a single athlete of my generation who was not inspired by Roger and his achievements both on and off the track.”

The official account of Team GB posted: “We are incredibly saddened by the death of Sir Roger Bannister, aged 88. Rest in Peace Roger.”

Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted: “Sir Roger Bannister was a great British sporting icon whose achievements were an inspiration to us all. He will be greatly missed.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “Sir Roger Bannister was more than simply one of the greatest athletes of all time – by breaking the four-minute mile he redefined what was thought impossible, and inspired the world. He leaves an incredible legacy.”

Steve Ford, chief executive of Parkinson’s UK said: “We’re very saddened to hear of the death of Sir Roger Bannister.

“He inspired a generation of runners and he will leave a lasting legacy on athletics.

“Off the track, Sir Roger trained to become a neurologist, which gave him a unique perspective on his own diagnosis of Parkinson’s.

“Sir Roger spoke publicly about his condition and his positive outlook, taking each day as it came, will have provided comfort to others in his situation.”

Lord Patten of Barnes, Chancellor of Oxford University, said: “My wife and I were very sad to hear about Roger Bannister’s death. We offer our condolences to his family.

“He was not just one of the great athletes of the last century but a superb doctor and servant of Oxford University.

“He was a man of great distinction and honour in every sense.

“At the age of 88 he was still an active supporter of the University and we will miss him enormously.”

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson added: “Roger Bannister epitomised what it means to be a living legend.

“He was a regular presence at university events and remained committed to Oxford University to the end, engaging with students, challenging academics, and inspiring all of us.”

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