WHEN Roger Bannister stepped out on to an Oxford running track nearly 60 years ago, he was about to make sporting history.

And now a project at the Oxford Playhouse is looking to hear from the 3,000 people who were there to witness the first sub-four-minute mile.

Organisers hope to collect memories, photographs and other memorabilia for a play to be written and performed later this year.

Director Jake Oldershaw, 37, said: “This is one of Oxford’s greatest stories. People love the mind over matter part of it all, his triumph against adversity.

“And yet many people might not even know it is something that happened in the city.”

Sir Roger, now 82, broke the record on May 6, 1954. The race was broadcast live on BBC Radio.

Amongst the thousands of spectators on the day were young couple Jan and Bob Burgess from Kidlington.

They had met at the Iffley Road Running Track and last year celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.

Mrs Burgess, 79, said: “We’d been talking about it for some time, that he was going to do it, so we all poured down there and waited for him.

“There was so much excitement. And then I just remember the wonderful cheer that went up when they read his time out.

“Roger’s face was a picture. I don’t think he believed it, he looked like he was going to collapse.”

The couple had been runners themselves at the track.

Mrs Burgess said: “It was a wonderful honour for him to choose our running track.

“All the men were running alongside him with their macs on and there were lots of famous runners there to spur him on.”

Unfortunately, the couple’s best man, Peter Willett, wasn’t so lucky.

Mrs Burgess said: “He remembers it well. He had thought there was no way Roger would do it and had gone to the dentist.

“Then he got back to us at the running track and found out he’d done it. He’d missed the whole thing and was very angry.”

The Story of the Four Minute Mile will be staged at the Iffley Road track from May 4-13.

The production will include any memories given to the Playhouse and invites audiences to walk a mile in Bannister’s footsteps.

Email your testimonials to Hannah Bevan at hannah. bevan@oxfordplayhouse.com by Wednesday, March 14.