AS A TEN year old schoolboy already interested in sport the May 6, 1954,was a watershed moment in my life – although I didn’t fully realise it at the time.

A blustery evening when Freddie Trueman was bowling for Yorkshire against Oxford Uni at The Parks whilst nearby at Iffley Rd an event unfolded that was to have a profound affect on the world of athletics and on me personally.

That was the night that Roger Bannister broke the mythical four minute barrier for the Mile, a time once considered impossible. It was a time that had previously proved elusive to the greatest middle distance men like Arne Andersson, Gunder Hagg and Sydney Wooderson. And it was a time that was being chased down by John Landy of Australia and Wes Santee of the USA.

The event was largely presented as an Oxbridge affair during a low-key match between AAA and Oxford.

Obituary: Sir Roger Bannister, legendary athlete who was the first to break the four-minute mile

It is not widely known but Scottish athlete Alan Gordon played a role in the race – but his finishing position has been disputed. Records suggested Gordon did not finish, but in an exclusive Herald interview in 1994, the runner told how he actually crossed the line in fourth place.

Bannister’s record only stood for 46 days until his great rival John Landy broke it in Turku Finland and the floodgates had now been prised open.

This led directly to Mile of the Century head to head where Bannister beat Landy in the Mile at the 1954 Empire Games in the ferocious heat of Vancouver the same heat that took its toll on Jim Peters in the Marathon.

Bannister had now cemented his place in athletics history but his achievement had set in motion a train of events the race was now on to become the first Scot to break the four minute barrier and provided huge motivation for the likes of Graham Everett (4m 2.8) Kenny Ballantyne (4m 1.1) and myself (4m 1.0.)

Obituary: Sir Roger Bannister, legendary athlete who was the first to break the four-minute mile

The honour of being the first sub-four minute Scot fell to Mike Berisford in 1962 when he recorded 3m 59.2 at the White City.

Mike would be what is now known as a “project Scot” so from the purist point of view I would tend to bestow that honour on Ian McCafferty when he beat the Stewart Brothers at Palmers Park, Reading recording 3m 56.8 in 1969.

Despite the fact that Bannister never raced in Scotland, that night in May 1954 provided motivation for several generations of Scottish 'milers' and with the passage of time it still stands as one of the symbolic moments in World sport.

It was a big picture moment but that quickly transferred to tracks across the country tracks like Scotstoun Showgrounds where in the 1950s Victoria Park AAC ruled supreme and the likes of Alex Breckenridge trained.

Obituary: Sir Roger Bannister, legendary athlete who was the first to break the four-minute mile

Alex won an athletics scholarship to Villanova University and ended up racing against Wes Santee when the American was trying to become the first athlete from the USA to emulate Bannister.

From so many perspectives that night in May 1954 stands the test of time.