Sports fans all over the world know that Roger Bannister was the first
athlete to run the first sub four-minute mile
on May 6th 1954. His time of
3-59-4 at the
Those black and white images of Bannister collapsing into the arms of his supporters after he chested the tape
will forever be one of the nations greatest sporting moments.
Fifty years on, most athletics fans will also remember that Chris Chataway crossed the line in second place
but not so many will know that Tom Hulatt took third place.
Tom who was born and bred in Tibshelf near Alfreton
earned his living as a colliery worker
and was the Derbyshire and
He was the only non-student in the race and he was invited because he was Northern Champion
but nationally he was unknown. Tom recorded the time of 4min 16secs and after the race left the track quietly
while the crowd mobbed Bannister in celebration of his new world record. The moment in history was justifiably Bannister's.
Tom was an unassuming man from a typical working-class background and
was a natural runner.
In the mid fifties he worked at Williamthorpe Colliery
and used to run five miles to work,
complete his shift and run the five miles
Once when competing at
if he journeyed on the day of the race. Therefore he travelled up the day previous to the meeting armed
with a blanket and slept rough that night because he could not afford the
cost of the accommodation,
competed the following day then made his way home.
The start of the four minute mile Tom Hulatt is the first on the left
click on photo to enlarge
Tom ran for a number of clubs including Alfreton Athletics Club, Hallamshire Harriers and Chesterfield Harriers.
He was Northern Champion at one mile, three miles and the 3000 metres steeplechase
and Derbyshire champion at one mile and 880 yards.
When he was forced to retire through Achilles tendon trouble he became coach for Chesterfield Harriers.William Thomas Hulatt died of a heart attack on the 21st May 1990 at the relatively young age of 59