Belfast Telegraph

Which Northern Ireland sporting star is Sue Barker's hero off the tennis court?

By Claire Williamson

Sportswoman and presenter Sue Barker has hailed Northern Ireland's Dame Mary Peters as her hero off the tennis court.

As Wimbledon starts up again this week, in an interview with the Sunday Post, Sue, who won the French Open and was number three in the world, was asked who her sporting hero was away from tennis.

She said that it was Dame Mary Peters, who won gold in the 1972 Olympics pentathlon and also won three Commonwealth titles for Northern Ireland.

She still holds the world record for the pentathlon which was replaced by the heptathlon in the 1980s.

She said: "Mary Peters. When I was having my sulky, stroppy, bad loser phase I watched her at the Olympics. Sometimes she failed but always with a smile and good grace. She taught me how to win and lose, and I have a photo taken with her in my lounge."

In the same interview Sue revealed that the highlight of her broadcasting career was interviewing Andy Murray on court after he won Wimbledon in 2013.

She said: "That last game went on for ever. I’ve never known an atmosphere like it. Andy was so emotional he didn’t know where he was."

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