The Roger Bannister 50p was issued in 2004. This was to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first man to run a mile in less than 4 minutes. These coins are a nice collectible item for sports enthusiasts as well as for coin collectors.
History of the coin
The 50p coin was one of the first decimal coins to be produced. In 1968 the 5p and 10p coins were circulated, with the new 50p coin the following year. Decimalisation was introduced in 1971, and the 50p coin was altered in 1997, when it was made a little smaller.
The 50p has been used to commemorate many special events and in 2004 a coin was minted to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first sub 4 minute mile, which was run by Roger Bannister.
About Roger Bannister
Roger Bannister was a medical student when he became the first man to run a mile in less than 4 minutes.
He started running in 1946, and declined an invitation to run at the 1948 Olympics, as he felt he wasn’t ready. He did compete at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952, where he set a British record for the 1500 metres. He set his sights on becoming a mile runner and was determined to become the first person to run the sub 4 minute mile.
His successful attempt took place at Iffley Road Track in Oxford on 6th May 1954. With the help of two pacemakers, Chris Chataway and Chris Brasher, Bannister completed the mile in 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds.
In 2002, his achievement was voted number 13 in a poll for the 100 Greatest Sporting Moments.
How Many Roger Bannister 50p Coins Were Made?
The Roger Bannister 50p was minted in 2004 and 9,032,500 of these were put in to circulation.
Design and Designer
- Front design:
The front design shows a pair of legs running with a stopwatch in the background.
- Obverse design:
The reverse has the 4th portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley.
- Designer: James Butler
James Butler studied at Maidstone School of art and the Royal College of Art.
He is a professional stone carver and he has created many sculptures which can be seen around the World. One creation is the Queen Beasts in Kew Gardens and he also created many statues for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon.
In 1972 he became a full time sculptor after his statue of Jomo Kenyatta was unveiled in Nairobi.
His work for the Royal Mint is a striking contrast to his large statues. As well as the Roger Bannister 50p he has also designed the Royal Jubilee Presentation coin and Lord Nelson Crown.
- Circulation: 9,032,500
- Year issued: 2005
- Value circulated: 50p
- Value circulated in excellent condition: £2.50
- Value uncirculated: £10.00
- Composition: cupro-nickel
- Scarcity index: 1
In 2005, 9,032,500 Roger Bannister 50p coins were circulated.
- A commemorative version was re-issued in 2019 as part of the 50th anniversary of the 50p collection. This was not put in to circulation.
- 1,250 Gold Proof coins were issued
- 15,000 Silver Proof and 7,500 Silver Proof Piedfort
- Brilliant Uncirculated coins were also made.