Sir Roger Bannister is a former middle distance athlete, who has had a long and distinguished career as physician and academic. As an athlete, he set a British record in the 1500 metres in the 1952 Olympics, and in 1954 became the first man to run a mile in under 4 minutes. He went on to practice as a clinician in the field of neurology at St Mary’s Hospital & Medical School and at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen’s Square, London. He combined his clinical work with research, working on clinical syndromes involving the autonomic system. He served as chairman of the Sports Council from 1971 to 1974, and president of the International Council for Sport and Physical Recreation from 1976 to 1983. He was Master of Pembroke College, Oxford from 1985 to 1993.