Wednesday 16 October 2019

Mark Cavendish named BBC Sports Personality of the Year

Mark Cavendish with the BBC Sports Personality of the Year trophy. Photo: PA
Mark Cavendish with the BBC Sports Personality of the Year trophy. Photo: PA
Second placed BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2011, Darren Clarke. Photo: PA

Matthew Holehouse

Cyclist Mark Cavendish, the world road racing champion, has been crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year, with Darren Clarke runner-up.

Cavendish became the cycling world champion in the 2011 UCI Road World Championships in Copenhagen in September.

"I had a group of guys in Copenhagen who rode incredible and brought the rainbow jersey back to Britain," he said.

"We can produce such champions from such a small place. To be nominated against nine inspirational people, I'm just lost for words.

"It's a landmark in cycling. I take this on behalf of cycling. For cycling to be recognised in a non-Olympic year would have been unheard of. It's an honour, it's an honour."

He was handed the award by Sir Bobby Charlton and Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson. He joins Tommy Simpson and Sir Chris Hoy as cycling's winners of the award.

The runner-up was Northern Irish golfer Darren Clarke, who this year won the Open Championship. Third place from the public vote went to Mo Fareh, the 5,000m world champion.

Steve Redgrave, the rower who won five gold medals to become Britain's most successful Olympian, was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award.

After a lengthy standing ovation, Redgrave said: "I never thought I would be here again. Eleven years ago I received the Sports Personality of the Year and I thought it would be the last time I achieved an award of any sort.

"To receive the Lifetime Achievement Award is a great honour for me but without the people around me it would never happen. And this allows me to right a wrong from 11 years ago.

"The one person I forgot to mention 11 years ago was my wife. My wife was an Olympic athlete in her own right and has been the team doctor on and off for 15 years and is now helping team in preparation for next year.

The Coach of the Year award went to England cricket team director Andy Flower, who guided England to a first Ashes win in Australia in more than 20 years last winter and to the top of the Test world rankings with a comprehensive series victory over India.

The Zimbabwean, who beat Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson and Wales rugby coach Warren Gatland to the award, said: "This is a very proud moment for me to stand here, England has been very good to me and my family.

"I'm very proud to be part of the England cricket team. They have done some wonderful things over the last couple of years.

"I think everyone in this room realises it's the players that make the hard decisions, play under pressure and have to deliver. It's great to have a good bunch of players and a good bunch of people to work with."

England's cricket achievements were also honoured with the Team of the Year award, which was collected by captain Andrew Strauss, also a nominee for the individual award.

He said: "This is a very special award for a couple of reasons. First there's so many great teams who have won this in the past. "But also if there's one thing we've all bought into it is the idea the team is more important that the individual. It's the real basis of why we've done well and makes it even more special to win this accolade."

Meanwhile, tennis world number one Novak Djokovic won the Overseas Sports Personality of the Year gong following a year in which he went 41 matches unbeaten and won the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.

The Unsung Hero Award was presented to husband and wife team Janice Eaglesham and Ian Mirfin, who founded and continue to run The Red Star Athletics Club in Glasgow for people with disabilities.

Golfer Lauren Taylor was named Young Sports Personality of the Year.

The 17-year-old became the youngest winner of the Ladies' British Open Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush in its 112-year history in June before competing alongside the professionals in the Women's British Open at Carnoustie.

In a year when the absence of any sportswomen on the shortlist for the main award has made headlines, the final three for the young sports personality award were all female, with Taylor beating swimmer Eleanor Simmonds and cyclist Lucy Garner.

The Helen Rollason Award for outstanding achievement went to former Grand National winner Bob Champion, who triumphed at Aintree on Aldaniti in 1981 two years after he had been diagnosed with testicular cancer at the age of 31 and given only months to live.

Champion retired from riding in 1982 and a year later helped to establish The Bob Champion Cancer Trust, which has raised more than £12million to help fight the disease.

Breakdown of the vote:

Mark Cavendish 169,152 (49.47%)

Darren Clarke 42,188 (12.34%)

Mo Farah 29,780 (8.71%)

Luke Donald 23,854 (6.98%)

Andy Murray 18,754 (5.48%)

Andrew Strauss 17,994 (5.26%)

Alastair Cook 13,038 (3.81%)

Rory McIlroy 11,915 (3.48%)

Dai Greene 9,022 (2.64%)

Amir Khan 6,262 (1.83%)

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