AN OLYMPIC champion came face to face with the Swindon woman she competed alongside for Great Britain in the 1960s for the first time in decades.

When Dame Mary Peters, pentathlon gold medallist at the 1972 Munich games, arrived in Swindon yesterday, she could not have predicted she would meet old friend Brenda Gill (now Murphy).

Dame Mary, 76, was in North Swindon to officially open Blunsdon Court in Lady Lane, a development by McCarthy and Stone, for whom she is an ambassador.

Brenda, 74, now lives in Winchester, but was born and bred in Stratton before moving on to pastures new in 1975.

The pair regularly competed against one another in the five disciplines throughout the 1960s, but were team-mates for Great Britain once in an international match against the Netherlands.

“A friend had told me Mary Peters was coming to Swindon to open this building and she suggested I come along,” said Brenda.

“I didn’t think it was right, but had my arm twisted and so I came in and went up to her.

“I asked her if she remembered me and she did say she remembered competing against someone from Swindon.

“One more hint about Holland and she remembered.”

Dame Mary said she had never been to Swindon before, but would always remember Brenda and their days on the track together.

Blunsdon Court opened in late August and there are already apartments with occupants, four bought and another 10 still on the market.

Mrs Murphy whose last Swindon address was in Attlee Crescent, Meadowcroft said she might well end up at Blunsdon Court herself, as she considers her next move.

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