Sir Roger Bannister's four-minute mile running shoes sell for over £250,000

The shoes are 61 years-old Credit: PA

The running shoes worn by Sir Roger Bannister when he became the first man to break the four-minute mile have sold for £266,500 - with the bidding taking less time than it took the runner to complete his athletic achievement.

Sir Roger clocked three minutes 59.4 seconds in the historic race at Iffley Road Track in Oxford on May 6 1954 when he was a 25-year-old medical student.

Today the thin leather running spikes which weigh just four and a half ounces (127 grams) were snapped up by an anonymous buyer at Christie's in London after two and a half minutes of bidding.

The thin leather running spikes weigh four and a half ounces Credit: PA

They were sold along with a letter signed by Sir Roger, now 86, and a letter written by his friend Eustace Thomas commenting on their "lightness".

Kate Summers of Christie's described the shoes, made in London, as "the symbol of not only an historic moment in sporting history, but demonstrate what humans can achieve with determination and persistence".

Forbes magazine named Bannister's record as the Greatest Athletic Achievement of the 20th century.

He was also the first winner of the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year award for 1954.

Sir Roger Bannister's 4 minute-mile was one of the greatest sporting achievements of the 20th century Credit: PA

Sir Roger, who went on to have a distinguished career in neurological medicine, was the American Neurological Association's first lifetime achievement award winner in 2005.

He was the first chairman of the Sports Council and was knighted in 1975.