Murray wins BBC Sports Personality of the Year award

MurrayANDY Murray has won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award for the second time.
The man who led Great Britain to their first Davis Cup in 79 years beat now-retired rugby league star Kevin Sinfield into second place with heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill third.

Speaking at the glitzy ceremony in Belfast, Murray said: “I didn’t expect this – a friend actually sent me a message the other day with an article from a newspaper which said Andy Murray is duller than a weekend in Worthing, which I thought was a bit harsh – on Worthing.
“It’s very humbling to be up here in front of so many great athletes – I’m just a great sports fan and I’m really nervous.
“This has been a five-year journey – we were right down at the bottom level or tennis and now we’re ranked number one in the world and I never thought that would be possible.”

The Scot, who also won the public vote in 2013, becomes only the fourth person to win the award twice. No-one has ever won it three times.

Murray and GB’s Davis Cup winners were named team of the year but captain Leon Smith missed out on the coach of the year prize to Northern Ireland football manager Michael O’Neill, who led the nation to their first-ever European Championships.

Accepting the team award, Smith said: “It is hugely humbling to receive this award, it is obviously very prestigious.
“It’s been 79 years since we managed to win the Davis Cup and let’s hope it doesn’t take another 79.
“I hope that what this has achieved for tennis is that we get a really lasting and meaningful legacy from this.”

After a rousing reception from his home crowd, O’Neill said: “Two years ago we were not in a great place and it would have been easier for me to walk away and for the association to go with someone else, but we stuck together and we are where we are today.”

Gymnast Ellie Downie won Young Sports Personality of the Year, while Dan Carter and Tony McCoy picked up previously-announced awards – Overseas Sports Personality of the Year and the lifetime achievement award respectively.

A youth football coach from Belfast, Damien Lindsay, picked up the unsung hero award, while eight-year-old Bailey Matthews, who has cerebral palsy, was the recipient of the Helen Rollason Award after completing a junior triathlon in June.

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