SIDEBURNED cyclist Bradley Wiggins was last night crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year after becoming the first Briton to win the Tour De France and Olympic gold.
The 32-year-old was presented with the trophy by the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge, who
was making her first public appearance since being treated in hospital for severe morning sickness.
Wiggins won the public vote after becoming the first Briton to win the Tour de France, cycling’s ultimate prize, in July, followed by the Olympic Time Trial on the streets of Surrey.
Team GB Heptathlon gold medal-winner Jessica Ennis was second, with US Open tennis winner and Olympic gold medallist Andy Murray third.
There were, however, concerns about voting phone lines crashing last night after some callers complained they could not get through.
Wiggins had earlier joked on stage with Sue Barker and gently teased co-host Gary Lineker, suggesting he was wearing a lot of make-up.
Accepting the award he got more laughs for joking about his grandmother rigging the vote. He said: “I’m not going to swear tonight, so I am just going to say ‘thank you’ to everyone that picked the phone up and voted.
“We have had all that jungle stuff [I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!] and X Factor the last couple of weeks, so for people in half an hour to pick up and pay £1.50 to vote, thank you very much. And my nan: the cheque is in the post because you pressed redial God-knows how many times!”
The Duchess of Cambridge, who did not speak while presenting the main award and a lifetime achievement award to Olympics chairman Lord Coe, looked on in a dark green dress as Wiggins told his children Ben and Bella: “You can go to bed now.” He praised his supporters and Team Sky colleagues who helped him win the Tour De France, before saluting his fellow Olympians.
Wiggins had been the odds-on favourite since June to add the award to his collection; however, all the momentum and money in the past week had been for Jessica Ennis, whose odds had fallen from 8/1 to 5/2 on the night.
The first award of the night went to swimmer Josef Craig, 15, who was crowned Young Sports Personality of the Year. Josef, who has cerebral palsy, was crowned the youngest Paralympic gold medallist at London 2012, after smashing his own world record in the 400m freestyle S7 final.
Martine Wright, who lost her legs in the London bombings on 7 July, 2005, and competed in the sitting volleyball at the 2012 Paralympics, won the Helen Rollason Award. Wright said: “I am absolutely honoured to be here. I count myself lucky to have survived that awful day, and that I’ve made an incredible journey, the last seven years.”
She thanked the emergency services and medical staff who did so much. “And I will never forget the 52 people that sadly lost their lives, so this is definitely for them as well.”
Sports enthusiasts Sue and Jim Houghton won the Unsung Hero Award for helping to transform a derelict sports ground into a popular community facility.
The husband and wife team have devoted 25 years to establishing Sport in Desford, a leisure complex in the Leicestershire village with tennis and squash courts, a football pitch, bowling green and dance studio.
The Team of the Year award went to Team GB and Paralympics GB for their successes in the Games during the summer.
Coach of the Year went to Dave Brailsford, who trains Wiggins, while sprinter Usain Bolt was been named the Overseas Sports Personality of the Year.
• A lifetime achievement award to Olympics chairman Lord Coe.
• Swimmer Josef Craig, 15, crowned Young Sports Personality of the Year.
• Martine Wright, who lost her legs in the London bombings on 7 July, 2005, and competed in the sitting volleyball at the 2012 Paralympics, won the Helen Rollason Award.
• The Team of the Year award went to Team GB and Paralympics GB.
• Coach of the Year went to Dave Brailsford, who trains Wiggins.
• Usain Bolt was Overseas Sports Personality of the Year.