Andy Murray named BBC Sports Personality of the Year

Andy Murray poses after winning the 2016 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award. Picture: PA

Andy Murray poses after winning the 2016 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award. Picture: PA

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Scottish tennis champ Andy Murray has been named BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

The 29-year-old claimed the award after winning Wimbledon, Olympic gold and finishing the season as the world’s top-ranked tennis player.

Andy Murray is interviewed by Gary Lineker over video link during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2016 at The Genting Arena, Birmingham. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire.

Andy Murray is interviewed by Gary Lineker over video link during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2016 at The Genting Arena, Birmingham. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire.

Murray, who did not attend the ceremony in Birmingham, accepted the award via a prerecorded video message.

He thanked everyone who voted for him and the “sacrifices” made towards him by his sporting team.

“I’d like to thank my family, my mum.. my dad, he just got married ten days ago, miss you guys,” he said.

“Huge thanks to my wife.. and my daughter who won’t know what it means yet, but maybe in a few years will appreciate it.”

He also joked his wife had voted for showjumper Nick Skelton during the ceremony. “Not smart from her with Christmas coming up,” he said.

It is the third time he has been awarded the title in four years.

The award was presented by sportswoman Jessica Ennis Hill and the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William.

Triathlete Alistair Brownlee was second and showjumper Nick Skelton third.

Previous winners of the award include footballers George Best, Pele, Sir Bobby Charlton and David Beckham, golfer Seve Ballesteros, cyclist Sir Chris Hoy and jockey AP McCoy.

The ceremony, which included a performance by singer Robbie Williams, also paid tribute to “the most unique of sporting champions” boxing legend Muhammad Ali.

Michael Phelps received the BBC Sports Personality lifetime achievement award after capping his career with five Olympic golds in Rio.

An emotional Phelps was given the award by Prince William and fellow swimming legend Ian Thorpe.

He told the audience “I retired with the greatest end of the year I could ever have dreamed of.”

The American took his record Olympic haul to 23 golds and 28 medals in all, claiming individual 200 metres butterfly and medley titles and three relay triumphs.

Phelps also took silver in the 100m butterfly, with his performances in Brazil justifying his decision to come out of retirement.

He stands 10 medals clear of the next most successful Olympian, gymnast Larisa Latynina who won 18 medals for the Soviet Union from 1956 to 1964.

Phelps, 31, said of his BBC honour: “I’m thrilled to receive the prestigious Sports Personality lifetime achievement award and follow in the footsteps of so many sporting greats.

“It is a fitting way to end what has been an unbelievable year for me.”

Team of the Year went to Leicester City football club. The team was met by chanting in the audience as they took to the stage to collect their awards.

The Helen Rollason Award was presented to runner and fundraiser Ben Smith.

The 34-year-old battled depression but recovered and ran 401 marathons in 401 days, a total of 10,506.2 miles, between September 2015 and October this year to raise money for charities Kidscape and Stonewall.

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri was named coach of the year and Marcellus Baz, a boxing coach from the East Midlands, was the BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero for 2016 and was selected from 15 regional winners from across the country.

Speaking to the BBC, former Chelsea manager Ranieri said: “It’s fantastic to take this award here in England, I can say only thank you again to my players, the chairman, all my staff but without our fans it was impossible to win this title. Thank you to everybody.

“I have to say thank you to my lads, all the staff, all the fans of course. It was amazing. It was incredible what happened.”

American gymnast Simone Biles was named Overseas Sports Personality of the Year.

The 19-year-old won four gold medals and a bronze at the Rio Olympics and said she felt “honoured” to receive the award.

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