Sir Roger Bannister remains “astonished” that his first sub-four-minute mile is still celebrated, but he hopes it can continue to inspire generations.

Bannister recorded 3mins 59.4secs at the Iffley Road track in Oxford on May 6, 1954, an achievement to earn worldwide acclaim.

Now 84, and with the 60th anniversary of his feat approaching, Bannister is flattered by the interest that remains and hoping Britain can produce new track heroes.

“If it brings other people in to running then it is all for the good and I am still very happy to do all I can to help,” he said.

Sir Roger was talking in his position as patron for the Westminster Mile, which is on May 24 and will officially mark the 60th anniversary of his sub-four-minute mile.