Horse Racing: O'Sullevan raises his hat to McCoy

The "voice of racing" Sir Peter O'Sullevan has expressed his delight at Tony McCoy being voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

The 15-times champion jump jockey ended racing's wait to win the award when gaining a landslide success at the ceremony in Birmingham on Sunday night.

"It was fantastic. I was so sorry to miss it. It was only the second time I've ever missed it and it was one I would have most liked to have been present at," said O'Sullevan.

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"I thought it was absolutely marvellous AP winning and I thought his acceptance was perfection. He's a serious role model and I think it's marvellous for the sport.

"It was really tremendous and so well merited. His single mindedness and dedication has been exceptional.

"At the same time, he is the only Sport for Good ambassador representing racing with something like 60 sporting icons. It's a wonderful global organisation designed to help young people and keep them off the streets.

"He's a very generous-hearted person and like his boss, JP (McManus], his work is anonymous, but it is widely appreciated within racing. That's why his success was particularly emotional.

"We've waited a long time for this recognition. You'd have thought with Lester (Piggott] and Frankie (Dettori] not able to win it we'd never win it."

Channel 4 Racing pundit John McCririck believes that the time is now right for McCoy to receive a knighthood.

"You must remember that a year ago he wasn't even nominated, so winning the Grand National on Don't Push It was the vital thing," he said.

"It shows the sense of the British public and with Phil Taylor second, the 15-times darts champion.

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"And in fairness, it gives real credit to Racing for Change. The BHA and Nick Attenborough launched a tremendous campaign not only on the racing pages but on the sports pages, getting him on to the news pages and into magazines and also the part AP played in it.

"We know what an extraordinary human being he is and I think he should be get a knighthood.

"We've got Sir Gordon Richards as the only other jockey that was knighted and it would be fantastic if it was in this year's Honours List. If not, then he certainly deserves a knighthood. No man has worked harder for it.

"We know his attributes and now the public does and we've got two recognisable faces in racing - Frankie Dettori and AP.

"It is up to the establishment to say this man is a true giant in our world."