THE diaries of celebrated Oxford sportsman and scientist Sir Roger Bannister are to be made available to the public at the city's Bodleian Library.

Sir Roger, who became the first person to run a mile in under four minutes at Iffley Road track in 1954, revealed the news as he marked his 87th birthday today.

Speaking to the Oxford Mail, he said he was "delighted to be still going strong" and said he and his wife Moyra were kept busy by regular visits from his two daughters and nine grandchildren.

He said he celebrated his birthday with his family.

After publishing his autobiography in 2014, the neurologist and former master of Pembroke College said he has spent the better part of last year sorting letters, diaries, cuttings, speeches, articles, photographs and films, so they could be deposited at the Bodleian.

Filling more than 50 boxes and covering most of his life, the papers will join others left by authors, scientists and former prime ministers such as Sir Edward Heath and Margaret Thatcher.

Oxford Mail:

Sir Roger, who revealed he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2014, said: "I am not able to walk very much now, so that keeps me confined to my flat most of the time, but my daughters and grandchildren come to see me often and they keep me busy.

"My study is also by the living room and the papers that are now at the Bodleian go right back to my running days, so working on them has been my main activity over the past year.

"I'm delighted they have gone to the Bodleian, because to be honest I would not know what to do with them otherwise.

"My children understand, because it means anyone with an interest will be able to look at them and they can be kept at there in perpetuity."

The Bodleian Library is automatically open to Oxford University students and staff, but members of public can apply for an "external reader's card" at the university admissions office.

Christopher Fletcher, keeper of special collections at the Bodleian, said: "Sir Roger is celebrated figure and has lived in Oxford for many years, so it is very fitting his papers are now deposited in the Bodleian Library where he himself spent time as a university undergraduate.

"At the moment the papers are uncatalogued and not currently available to readers but we hope to be able to make them available in due course."