Sir Roger moves fellow graduates to tears

Sir Roger Bannister with Oxford Brookes University students, from left, Gareth Wilson, Chris Moy and James Daniel, who all graduated with a foundation degree in paramedic emergency care from the faculty of Health and Life sciences

Buy this photo Sir Roger Bannister with Oxford Brookes University students, from left, Gareth Wilson, Chris Moy and James Daniel, who all graduated with a foundation degree in paramedic emergency care from the faculty of Health and Life sciences

First published in News

IT is not often you see an 85-year-old don a graduation cap, but then Sir Roger Bannister is no ordinary pensioner.

Sir Roger, who was the first person to run a mile in under four minutes on Oxford’s Iffley Road track in 1954, moved graduates and guests to tears during the ceremony at Oxford Brookes yesterday.

The guest of honour who was awarded an Honorary Doctorate, gave a speech to his fellow graduates from the faculty of Health and Life Sciences.

His wife, Lady Moyra, said: “Everyone said it was a good speech, and several had tears in their eyes.”

Talking to the Oxford Mail after the ceremony, Sir Roger, who lives in North Oxford, said: “I have a lot of respect for Oxford Brookes and the reputation that it’s gained over the last 30 years.”

The former master of Oxford University’s Pembroke College said: “I feel close to Oxford Brookes as a university and I’m sure that it’s going to continue to grow in popularity, especially as there are some very ambitious plans.

“I’m very proud that I was selected to have an honorary degree.”

Paramedic graduate Chris Moy, 23, said: “It was a great honour to meet him, he’s a sporting hero and an inspiration.

“In his speech he told us about his four-minute mile and his work in medicine and gave us an insight into that.

“He also told us to take care if we’re doing the Ice Bucket Challenge because it shocks the nervous system.”

In May the Oxford Mail revealed that Sir Roger, who dedicated his life to understanding neurological disorders, himself suffers from Parkinson’s disease.

He said: “Perhaps it’s an irony that I’m a neurologist and I have a condition like this.

“There are about 120,000 others who have it in the UK and for them I feel sympathy and I hope neurological researchers – sooner rather than later – find out enough about it so people can have effective treatment.”

Speaking of his decision to go public with his condition, he said: “I felt that it was obvious to anyone meeting me that I had problems, particularly in walking, so I felt that it was wrong to hide it.”

%audioboo(url="%audioboo(url= ‘http://audioboo.fm/boos/2445754-sir-roger-bannister’, title=’Sir Roger Bannister', author='Oxford Mail')", title="Roger Bannister audio", author="Peter Truman")

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Send your Letter to the Editor: What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter for publication here

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.


Our top stories

Cuts and rising care demands putting more children at risk

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Tuesday 30th June 2015

THE man in charge of the county’s children’s services has warned a surge in cases on the back of Operation Bullfinch and other child abuse scandals is leading to huge pressure on his department.

Fraudster posing as store detective cons pensioner in Blackbird Leys

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

4:07pm Tuesday 30th June 2015

A MAN pretending to be a store detective stole cash from an 85-year-old man.

Update: First RAF flight carrying bodies of Tunisia victims to arrive at Brize Norton tomorrow

Oxford Mail:

10:36am Tuesday 30th June 2015

ONE of the victims of the Tunisian beach massacre is being treated at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

Mourners pay their respects to much-loved Aown Dogar

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 30th June 2015

A TEENAGER who was the “life and soul” of his family was given a heartfelt farewell from hundreds of mourners yesterday.

Get the suncream ready as a heatwave hits Oxfordshire

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 30th June 2015

A MINI heatwave will hit Oxfordshire this week, with temperatures set to reach 30C tomorrow.

Police call on charities for help supporting victims

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Tuesday 30th June 2015

CHARITIES and voluntary organisations could increasingly help Thames Valley Police tackle crimes such as rape in the future, the force’s new chief constable has said.

 

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree