One of the most remarkable – and controversial – sporting figures in British history, Chris Brasher piled unique achievement on unique achievement.
It was Chris Brasher who, along with Chris Chataway, paced Roger Bannister to break the 4-minute mile. Then he won his own Olympic Gold Medal in the steeplechase at the 1956 Olympics. Probably best known now for founding the London Marathon, Chris went on to become one of the founders of the modern sports of fell-running and orienteering.. At the Observer, he also effectively invented modern sports feature writing. Plus, he also invented the now-ubiquitous Brasher walking boot, with the revolutionary aim of making heavy boots as comfortable as training shoes. Along the way he built up a highly successful sportswear chain, and even, in later life a stable of racehorses.
But Chris Brasher was also a highly controversial individual: irascible, domineering – a good friend but a bad enemy – and above all a hugely competitive man who had to win in everything he did.
Now, John Bryant, who knew Brasher well as a friend, has written the extraordinary story of this impossible and amazing man’s life. Whether you’re a sports journalist, a Lakeland fell-runner, a weekend rambler or one of the 50,000 competitors in the London Marathon, Chris Brasher changed your life.