Derbyshire runner Tom Hulatt’s starring role in iconic race won by Sir Roger Bannister

Tom Hulatt finished third in the race which saw Roger Bannister become the first man to run a sub-four minute mile.

The sporting world has been paying tribute to iconic runner, Sir Roger Bannister, who has died aged 88.

Sir Roger, who died on Saturday, was the first man on the planet to run a mile in under four minutes in 1954.

But very few people know that the man who finished third in the legendary race was Tom Hulatt from Tibshelf.

He was representing Alfreton AC on that blustery May evening at Iffley Road in Oxfordshire - a four-lap race he described at the time as ‘the greatest day of my life’.

A colliery-worker and council rat catcher, Tom - who was 23 when the record was broken - is still regarded as arguably the finest middle-distance runner Derbyshire has produced.

Former runner Cyril Leason, 79, of Pilsley, trained with Tom when he was a youngster and remembered him as a modest person who never boasted about the race.

He said: “He was very proud of it but he never bragged about it.”

Cyril, the mastermind behind the historic Six-Mile Hardwick Hall Road Race, also recalled how pacemakers Chris Chataway and Chris Brasher had urged Tom and Sir Roger ‘not to get in the way’ during the race.

The role Tom played in the iconic race is told in a book by Ilkeston-born twin brothers Peter and Paul Stanley called The First Four-Minute Mile and Tom Hulatt of Tibshelf.

Tom died suddenly aged 59 in 1990 and is buried in Tibshelf churchyard.

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