A MUSICIAN with a love of running has recorded a tribute to his greatest sporting inspiration, on the anniversary of his historic athletic feat.

Sebastian Reynolds has paid homage to Oxford icon Sir Roger Bannister by releasing a record in the late runner’s honour on the 68th anniversary of his record breaking four-minute mile.

On May 6, 1954, the then-junior doctor made history by becoming the first athlete to finish a mile run in under four minutes, achieving the feat at Oxford University’s Iffley Road track.

To celebrate the memory of Sir Roger, who died in 2018, Sebastian released a track called Four-Minute Mile. It features on an EP called Athletics, of which he gave of a flavour at the scene of Sir Roger’s triumph – the 400m track at Iffley Road Sports Centre.

Oxford Mail: Seb Reynolds has released a record inspired by Sir Roger Bannister's four-minute mile. Picture by Ed Nix

Picture by Ed Nix

Sebastian said: “I grew up in Oxford and the legend of Sir Roger’s mile hangs over the city.

“My father was there with his father on that memorable day and it has inspired my own lifelong passion and interest in sports, particularly middle distance running.”

His dad, Martin, was on the committee for Oxford City Athletics Club in the 80s, instilling in the young artist a a love of the sport.

“I have fond memories of running on the track at Horspath as an excited five-year-old,” he adds. “So it was only a matter of time before that passion came to inspire my work as a musician.

Oxford Mail: EMBARGOED TO THURSDAY 0001 JULY 22 File photo dated 6/5/1954 of Roger Bannister finishing the race during an athletics meeting at Oxford where he ran the world's first four minute mile. Sir Roger Bannister is to be honoured with a memorial at

“For Four-Minute Mile, I’ve drawn inspiration from Sir Roger’s record. Musically I drew inspiration from the classic Vangelis track Chariots of Fire from the soundtrack for the iconic Hugh Hudson film.

“My piece is a nostalgic paean to the joy and grace of Sir Roger’s epic achievement and the beauty and history of Oxford.

“Many tremendous things have come to pass in this city, and Bannister’s mile is certainly on the list.”

The Athletics EP also features a track dedicated to a superstar runner of today – the Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei and his world record breaking 5K run on the track at Monaco in August 2020.

Oxford Mail: Seb Reynolds has released a record inspired by Sir Roger Bannister's four-minute mile. Picture by Ed Nix

Sebastian Reynolds at the track. Picture by Ed Nix

“As far as I know, no-one had any idea that he, or anyone else in the race, was going to attempt the world record,” says Sebastian, who as a keyboard player, producer and composer, has played with local bands Sexy Breakfast, Keyboard Choir, Flights of Helios and The Epstein.

“I’ve been very fortunate that the commentators for the BBC Steve Cram and Tim Hutchings have given me their permission and blessings to use samples from their commentary for my track; the incredulity in their voices as they witnessed history unfold is almost as inspiring as Cheptegei’s incredible run.”

'Seb' has also performed in a trio with the German chamber musicians Alex Stolze and Anne Müller, releasing music together as Solo Collective.

He is resident composer for Neon Dance Company and has worked on Thai-Anglo fusion project Mahajanaka Dance Drama and conceptual contemporary dance show Puzzle Creature.

He is also a well-known runner, though a recent move from Wolvercote to Swindon has seen him part company with former club members.

Oxford Mail: 4-minute mile. Sir Roger Bannister at Pembroke College with the shoes he wore.....AM 6/5/04.

Sir Roger Bannister at Pembroke College with what he wore on his feet for his feat

“On the running front I’m still training and competing, but having moved to Swindon I’ve defected from Oxford City AC to Swindon Harriers,” he says.

“Sadly I missed Cross Country this season but hopefully I’ll get to race against my old club mates soon enough, if only for the banter.”

  • Four-Minute Mile by Sebastian Reynolds is out now, being released on the 68th anniversary of Sir Roger's four-minute mile in 1954, and dedicated to his memory.
  • Four-Minute Mile is taken from the Athletics EP, out on May 20 via London producer Capitol K’s label Faith & Industry.
  • See sebastianreynolds.co.uk