Belfast Telegraph

Dame Mary's gold tops sport moments

Dame Mary Peters' Olympic triumph has been voted Northern Ireland's favourite sporting moment.

The Belfast athlete took gold in the pentathlon in Munich in 1972.

She and Manchester United's George Best were voted among local sporting greats in a poll for the National Lottery Good Causes organisation ahead of next year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Dame Mary said: "I am delighted that my Olympic gold medal win is so highly regarded. We are extremely fortunate in Northern Ireland to have produced so many world class sportsmen and women who have produced some memorable feats.

"It is vital that Northern Ireland keeps up this tradition and continues to focus on improving facilities, enhancing performances and nurturing new talent to ensure our sporting future is as rich as our past."

Her victory was voted favourite sporting moment by 23% of people in a YouGov survey.

Golfer Rory McIlroy's 2011 US Open victory was ranked second while motorbike champion Joey Dunlop's exploits in the Isle of Man TT came third.

Top sporting hero was Best, favoured by 27% of those surveyed, with Dame Mary second on 15%.

Best's sister Barbara McNarry said: "I am very proud that George is still so fondly remembered by the people of Northern Ireland.

"During his football career George won many awards but I know he always enjoyed watching new talent emerge. It is extremely important we do all we can to continue to encourage more young people to participate in sport and inspire the George Bests of the future."

More than £130 million of National Lottery funding has been invested in sport in Northern Ireland. It is supporting the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Jackie O'Sullivan, National Lottery Good Causes spokesman, said the National Lottery was keen to inspire the next generation of sporting greats.


From Belfast Telegraph