Liz McColgan settles divorce with husband Peter

Liz McColgan pictured on her way to court in February. Picture: Paul Reid/Angus Pictures
Liz McColgan pictured on her way to court in February. Picture: Paul Reid/Angus Pictures
Share this article
0
Have your say

ATHLETICS idol Liz McColgan today settled her bitter divorce battle with estranged husband Peter - more than two and a half years after they announced they were to split.

Liz, 48, says she now hopes to “move on” with her life for the sake of her five children - Eilish, 22, Martin, 13, Eamonn, 12, Kieran, 10, and Orla, seven - in the wake of the separation.

The couple have been battling over their extensive property portfolio since they separated in 2010.

But Arbroath Sheriff Court today heard that an agreement has been reached between the warring couple - neither of whom appeared for the brief hearing.

Papers will now be lodged confirming the precise split of the couple’s assets, before affidavits are lodged to finally dissolve the couple’s 26 year long marriage.

The pair’s former family home, Panbride House, near Carnoustie, Angus, was put up for sale in January after Liz’s health club went into liquidation with reported debts of £800,000.

The nine-bedroom home is on sale for £720,000.

After their split Liz was accused by husband Peter of assaulting him by repeatedly punching him in the face, prodding him on the body to his injury and a separate charge of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner.

But she was cleared after a trial at Arbroath Sheriff Court, which heard Mr McColgan had installed “spyware” on her computer - claming he found incriminating Facebook conversations between her and another man.

He claimed Liz snapped after receiving a letter from his solicitors after they started divorce proceedings.

But Sheriff Derek Pyle said he was “not satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt” that Liz had attacked her now ex-husband.

Neither of the couple were available for comment today.

But speaking on BBC Radio’s Stephen Nolan Show, Liz said: “It was a very difficult decision to leave the marriage but the reason I did that was that I knew it wouldn’t be a happy place for the children, especially the way we were living.

“There was a lot of pressure on that - a lot of pressure to protect my children.

“I really don’t care what people’s perceptions of me are - I’m an adult and I can handle it.

“Would I struggle to trust a man again? No, not at all - you can’t judge one person by someone else.

“Just because I had one bad experience doesn’t mean its going to happen again.

“I’m now in a situation waiting for my divorce, and once that’s finalised it means I can start again.

“There’s a lot of things I can get myself involved in - and making sure my children have a happy childhood.

“I need to make sure they’re OK and just move on.”

And speaking of the accusations that she attacked Peter, she said: “What really affected me was the children - reading about their mother assaulting their father which obviously wasn’t the case.

“He accused me of punching him in the face but it was proven that hadn’t happened.

“It wasn’t nice at all. I was with the children in the garden and two police officers came up and asked who I was.

“They said they were police and I was being arrested and I had to go and find someone to look after my children.

“I was absolutely flabbergasted - I could not believe it.

“I had to find someone to look after the kids - but the problem is two are diabetic and they need them so I can’t just leave them with my mum who is 74 and doesn’t do the injections.

“I had to get my sister to leave her work and come to my house and I got carted off, fingerprints taken, pictures taken and put in a cell.

“I was in my garden playing rounders with the kids when it happened - they started crying.

“The only thing I felt was bad was that there are women who do beat up their husbands and there are men in situations like that who would maybe be put off going forward and getting help.”

Liz McColgan - then Liz Lynch - shot to fame in the late 1980s - taking home Commonwealth Gold at the 1986 games in Edinburgh and Olympic silver in the at the 1988 Seoul games, both in the 10,000 metres.

She went on to win gold in the same event at the 1991 World Championships - and was handed the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award in the same year.

McColgan then repeated her Commonwealth success in the 1990 Auckland games - landing another gold.

She married Irish steeplechaser Peter in 1987 and have five children.

They separated before announcing in November 2010 that they were to divorce.