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Why these six-decade old shoes were sold for a massive $412,000!

Last updated on: September 11, 2015 11:08 IST
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IMAGE: A Christie's employee holds running shoes worn by Sir Roger Bannister when he became the first man in history to run one mile in under 4 minutes, on May 20, 2015 in London. Photograph: Carl Court/Getty Images

The pair of running shoes worn by Roger Bannister when the Briton ran the first sub-four minute mile in 1954 were sold by auctioneers Christie's on Thursday for 266,500 pounds ($412,062.30).

The black kangaroo leather shoes, with six spikes on each sole, were accompanied by a letter of provenance signed by Bannister, 86, who was selling them to benefit charitable causes.

IMAGE: The running shoes worn by Sir Roger Bannister when he became the first man in history to run one mile in under 4 minutes. Photograph: Carl Court/Getty Images

Expected to fetch between 30,000-50,000 pounds, they were bought by an anonymous bidder at the 'Out of the Ordinary' sale in London.

"These shoes are the last tangible link I have with the four-minute mile," Bannister had said before the sale. "All my trophies are now on display at Pembroke College, Oxford, where I was Master.

Roger Bannister"They served me great purpose, I’m grateful to them. I think it’s the right time to part with them and I plan to give part of the proceeds to the Autonomic Charitable Trust (ACT) which encourages the area of neurological research to which I have devoted most of my life," he added.

"Other worthwhile causes in which I have an interest will also benefit."

Bannister wore the shoes on May 6, 1954 at Oxford's Iffley Road cinder track when he ran the mile in three minutes 59.4 seconds. A programme from the meeting, with pencil notes for the race, fetched 4,375 pounds.

Image: Roger Bannister.

Photograph: Tim Whitby/Getty Images

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