Olympic gold medalist talks to fans and poses for photos while opening retirement complex in Harborough

An Olympic legend breezed into Market Harborough to open a new retirement complex on Thursday (Jan 16).

Friday, 17th January 2020, 10:57 am
Updated Friday, 17th January 2020, 10:57 am
Mary Peters chats to residents at Elizabeth Place.

All-time athletics great Lady Mary Peters flew in from Northern Ireland to sprinkle her stardust all over Elizabeth Place Retirement Living Plus centre.

The gold medal heroine delighted dozens of retirees, staff and visitors as she regaled them with priceless anecdotes and magic memories from her golden career.

Meeting the Queen after being made a Dame in 2000, Lady Mary recalled: “I had a private audience with Her Majesty which lasted for 20 minutes rather than the usual five or 10.

Mary Peters with her gold medal at Elizabeth Place. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

“It was amazing. It was just like sitting down to chat with your granny!”

Looking as fit as ever after having open heart surgery in late 2018, Lady Mary, 80, took time out to talk to the Harborough Mail.

And the national treasure, an ambassador for McCarthy and Stone since 2012, poured praise on the housebuilder’s Elizabeth Place development on Trimbush Way, off Rockingham Road.

“It’s fantastic," said Lady Mary, immortalised for striking gold in the pentathlon at the Munich Olympics in 1972.

Mary Peters with resident Dennis White at Elizabeth Place. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

“I’ve spoken to people who are very happy here.

“Residents often tell me that moving in to one of these developments is the best thing they’ve ever done."

And she added that she ploughs her fees as a McCarthy and Stone ambassador into her nationally-renowned charity, the Mary Peters Trust.

“We try to help talented young sportsmen and women achieve their dreams,” said Lady Mary, as she posed for pictures with thrilled fans.

Mary Peters, centre, shows off her gold medal at Elizabeth Place. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

Some 23 out of 58 apartments at the development have already been snapped up.

Samantha Watkins, McCarthy and Stone’s regional sales and marketing director, said: “The day’s gone really well and it’s a pleasure and a privilege to have a living legend like Lady Mary visit us here."

Mary Peters opens Elizabeth Place. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Mary Peters chats to residents at Elizabeth Place. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER