Four-minute mile Roger Bannister stopwatch auctioned for £20,000

Roger Bannister about to cross the tape at the end of his record breaking mile run at Iffley Road, Oxford Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption There were five timekeepers on the day Sir Roger broke the four-minute mile barrier

A stopwatch used to time Roger Bannister's first sub-four-minute mile has sold for £20,000 at auction.

Sir Roger, now 86, made his run at Oxford's Iffley Road track on 6 May 1954, when he was 25.

Used by timekeeper WJ Burfitt, the watch was expected to attract bids between £5,000 and £8,000.

A collection of autographs and pictures from four-minute mile athletes, also including Chris Brasher and Chris Chataway, were sold for £420.

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Media captionArchive: Bannister reflects on his famous achievement

The auction was held by Graham Budd Auctions at Sotheby's in London.

There were five timekeepers on the day the four-minute mile barrier was broken.

Charles Hill was the chief timekeeper. His watch was bought by Lord Archer for £8,855 at an auction at Bonham's in 1998 and donated to Oxford University Athletics Club.

Auctioneer Graham Budd did not reveal the identity of the latest successful bidder, but said the Swiss-made watch was from "one of those remarkable, historic moments in British sporting history".

Sir Roger ran the mile in three minutes and fifty-nine seconds.

Image copyright Graham budd auctions
Image caption The stopwatch was used by timekeeper WJ Burfitt

The Nero Lemania stopwatch was sold with an invoice for repairs to Mr Burfitt.

It also included his personal copy of the programme from the day, signed by Sir Roger.

Sir Roger studied medicine at the University of Oxford and went on to work in research and clinical practice.

He was knighted in 1975 and retired as Master of Pembroke College, University of Oxford, in 1993.

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