Triple Olympic gold medallist Chris Hoy was crowned BBC Sports Personality of Year in Liverpool tonight.
Cyclist Hoy made it a hat trick of wins for the British Olympic cycling team, capping off a remarkable year for the sport.
The popular 32-year-old Scotsman was voted in first place, ahead of double Olympic swimming gold medallist, Rebecca Adlington, and the youngest Formula One motor racing champion, Lewis Hamilton, who came third and second respectively.
The GB Olympic cycling team and their coach, David Brailsford, collected both team and coach of the year awards, following a marvellous achievement at this year’s Beijing Olympics when they collated a total of 14 medals. Hoy was the first Brit to win three golds at one Games since 1908.
A further five awards were also handed out tonight including a lifetime achievement given to football legend Sir Bobby Charlton, who received a magnificent reception. Charlton was overcome with emotion as he thanked Liverpool for putting on “a great show.”
There was hardly a dry eye in the Echo Arena when boxing coach Ben Geyser was bestowed with the Unsung Hero award for his tireless work running Dorchester Amateur Boxing Club. The 70-year-old has provided many hours of his free time running the club, including investing his personal savings towards keeping it going.
Entertainment came from Olympic rowing gold medallist Zac Purchase, who showcased his talents on the saxophone, giving a fine rendition of George Gershwin’s ‘Summertime’, the aria composed for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess.
The BBC was staging its 55th Sports Personality of the Year event and the evening attracted the biggest attendance to date, with 9,000 spectators filling Liverpool’s riverside venue, which was broadcast live on television from the European Capital of Culture.
FULL LIST OF WINNERS INCLUDE:
Young sports personality of year
Eleanor Simmonds – winner of two gold medals at this year’s Paralympics held in Beijing, when she came first in both the 100m and 400m freestyle swimming finals at the age of just 13
Helen Rollason award
Alastair Hignell – the radio commentator has been both an international rugby union and county cricket sportsman. He worked at the BBC for 17 years and for BBC Radio 5 Live for 12 years. In 1999 he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and has since been very involved in fundraising
Unsung hero award
Ben Geyser – the veteran boxing coach set up Dorchester Boxing Club in 2003
Sir Bobby Charlton – winner of the football World Cup for England and named the European Footballer of the Year in 1966. Whilst playing for Manchester United FC, he won the League title three times and European Cup once, and survived the tragic Munich air disaster of 1958
Coach of the year
David Brailsford – coached GB Olympic cycling team to 14 medals, including eight golds, at the Beijing Games in August
Team of the year
GB Olympic cycling team – won a total of 14 medals at this year’s Olympics held in Beijing
Overseas sports personality of the year
Usain Bolt – won three gold medals at this year’s Olympics held in Beijing, smashing the world records in both the 100m and 200m sprints, before doing the same with the 4x100m Jamaica team on the track and gaining first position on the podium
Sports personality of the year
Chris Hoy – becomes the first cyclist to win the award since Tommy Simpson in 1965
Pictures from the night, taken by Dave Evans: