Published Sunday, 02 September 2012
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Also on the runway to greet her was a Flybe Q400 aircraft newly named 'The Mary Peters.'
The aircraft tribute features a life-size image of the athlete, pictured standing on the podium after the medal ceremony. The picture was taken by her father on 3 September 1972.
The Liverpool-born medallist moved to Portadown in Co Armagh after her father started working in Northern Ireland.
Her athletic potential was spotted early and Dame Mary went on to compete in three Olympic Games and five Commonwealth Games - her first when she was just 18 years old.
The original 'Golden Girl' described the event as overwhelming.
"I knew my friends where coming and I was going to meet them here - but I had no idea that Flybe were going to fly me on that plane as well so it's an amazing experience and I hope I get to fly in her!"
Another dame was in attendance on Sunday - middle distance runner Kelly Holmes.
She told UTV: "I just think that it's an absolutely amazing day for Dame Mary - but I was absolutely honoured to be invited to come over here to celebrate somebody's achievements over the past 40 years and to someone that's as lovely as Mary.
"I had to be here," she added.
Daley Thompson, Duncan Goodhew and Northern Ireland's London 2012 Games bronze medallist Alan Campbell also watched the grand unveiling.
The sporting stars were also interviewed about their memories of Dame Mary Peters' career over the past 40 years on the stage of the Grand Opera House in Belfast on Sunday night.
Van Morrison and Brian Kennedy were among the musicians taking part in the special gala evening of entertainment.