2015 tribute to sport
Andy Murray named Sports Personality of the Year
Tennis star Andy Murray was tonight named BBC Sports Personality of the Year for the second time.
He ended the year as world number two and was a member of the team that lifted the Davis Cup, clinching victory in a memorable singles match.
It was his second award of the night after the British team also won the team award for its success in lifting the Davis Cup, ending a 79 year wait.
He told an audience in Belfast: “I didn’t expect this. He joked that a friend had sent an article saying he was duller than a weekend in Worthing. ‘I think that is extremely harsh – on Worthing’,” he said.
He described receiving the award as ‘humbling’. He thanked his family, but said his wife Kim was unable to be present because she is expecting their first child. He said he had dedicated his life to the sport.
Speaking about the Davis Cup win, he said: “This has been a 5 year journey. We were down at the bottom & now we’re no.1 in the world.”
In second place was Kevin Sinfeld, the former professional rugby league player who captained Leeds Rhinos in Super League.
Third was athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill.
Leon Smith, captain of the triumphant Davis Cup team, said: “It is hugely humbling to win this award.” He also thanked the media.
“We, the coaches and players, get a lot of focus and attention but there are many unsung heroes. This is for them as much as for us. I hope what this has achieved is to get a lasting and meaningful legacy for the sport.”
Boxer Tyson Fury, who sparked controversy with his comments on gays and women, apologised on stage, telling host Gary Lineker: “If I’ve said anything in the past that’s hurt anybody, I apologise. It’s all very tongue in cheek, it’s all fun and games to me. I’m not a very serious kind of person – it’s all very happy-go-lucky with Tyson Fury.”
A petition to have him removed from the competition attracted 140,000 signatures. Some of those in the 7,500 audience at the SSE Arena booed Fury’s name as it was read out as one of the 12 shortlisted.
However, he narrowly missed out on a place on the podium. The Manchester boxer, who outpointed Wladimir Klitschko to become heavyweight champion last month, finished fourth in the vote.
Overseas Sports Personality of the Year: Dan Carter: part of the New Zealand team which beat Australia 34-17 to win the Rugby World Cup.
Young Sports Personality of the Year: Ellie Downie: the 16-year-old gymnast who won a bronze at the European Championships.
Coach of the Year award: Michael O’Neill: The Northern Ireland manager helped his country end a 30-year absence from tournament football by securing its place at Euro 2016.
Lifetime Achievement Award: AP McCoy: the twenty-time champion jump jockey, who retired in April after a record-breaking National Hunt career.
Helen Rollason Award: Bailey Matthews: The eight-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, completed his first triathlon unaided.
Sport’s Unsung Hero: Damien Lindsay: The west Belfast youth football coach played a huge role in his local community in his work with the St James Swifts Football Club.