BOB Hawke was one of Australia’s most influential Prime Ministers, serving four terms from 1983 to 1991.

But in Oxford the former Rhodes Scholar is probably best remembered for downing a yard of ale in record time.

The feat, which took place at the Turf Tavern, earned him a place in the Guinness Book of Records.

Oxford Mail:

Now civic leaders want to erect a blue plaque in his honour and are approaching the Oxfordshire Blue Plaques Board with the request.

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Mr Hawke, who died last month aged 89, lived in Oxford from 1953 to 1956, while studying on a Rhodes Scholarship.

And in 1954 he got into the record books by downing the yard of ale - 2.5 pints - in 11 seconds.

The idea for the tribute is supported by Professor Gareth Evans, an Honorary Fellow of Oxford’s Magdalen College, who served as Hawke’s foreign minister and The Honourable Kevin Rudd, Australia’s 26th Prime Minister, who is affiliated with the university’s China Centre.

READ AGAIN: Bob Hawke remembered as record-breaking beer drinker

Mr Evans said: “Oxford didn’t tame Bob Hawke – as the proposed plaque near the Turf would no doubt make clear! – but it was certainly formative intellectually, rounding out the skill-sets and instincts that made him one of Australia’s longest serving, greatest and internationally influential Prime Ministers.

“It would be great if the city could appropriately recognise him.”

Former Lord Mayor and Labour city councillor Susanna Pressel has also expressed her support.

An official application will be made to the plaques board to recognise Mr Hawke’s life in Oxford, ideally through the installing of a plaque in St Helen’s Passage, which leads to the Turf Tavern where Hawke set the world record for drinking a yard of ale.

Oxford Mail:

Ms Pressel said: “Oxford is fortunate to be linked with so many heads of government – past and present – and we should certainly remember them.

“We are proud to be an international city that welcomes people from all over the world. Bob Hawke deserves our admiration for all he did to fight against racism and inequality, both in Australia and more widely. Such principles should be celebrated, perhaps especially when they seem to be under threat.”

Oxford Mail:

Mr Hawke gained legendary status among beer drinkers for his record-breaking stunt.

When he died film star Russell Crowe tweeted: “Bob Hawke has died. A great man who made this country confident. A great man who never lost his humility. Guinness book of records 1954, 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds. Rhodes Scholar. Trade Union Leader. Prime Minister. Statesman. Thanks for everything Mr Hawke.”

Referring to the record Mr Hawke once wrote: “This feat was to endear me to some of my fellow Australians more than anything else I ever achieved.”

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In 1980, Mr Hawke publicly swore off alcohol and was elected to Parliament, immediately taking up a high-profile role as the opposition’s spokesman for industrial relations, employment and youth.

But he never shook his booze-loving reputation, and in his later years did little to discourage it.