By Ros Satar.
- Andy Murray wins his second Sports Personality of the Year award, as well as sharing in the Team of the Year, awarded to the GB Davis Cup winning team
- Kevin Sinfield (Rugby League) – 2nd
- Jessica Ennis-Hill (Athletics) – 3rd
BELFAST, N. IRELAND – Andy Murray won his second BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, collecting that and the Team award in Belfast on Sunday.
Murray topped the field of 12 in the annual ceremony, and as left until the end along with his Davis Cup team mates to be introduced as a candidate, before the Team award was made. Captain Leon Smith missed out on the Coach award, which went to Michael O’Neill for getting N. Ireland into the European Championships for the first time.
Jessica Ennis-Hill was one of three athletes nominated this year, and pipped Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah to the silverware as she made her comeback just 13 months after giving birth to son Reggie. In her first major championships in three years, she admitted that she maybe thought the gold was a hard ask.
“We spoke about the bronze medal and that it would be amazing for a silver medal, but we never spoke about gold. I kind of thought it was a little beyond me this year,” she told BBC Sport when she won the heptathlon gold at the Beijing World Championships.”
She said to the BBC, after the show: “After the Anniversary Games, I felt a little bit more confident in my ability. I wanted to make it 100% worthwhile and come back with a medal because I have to leave my son behind. It’s incredibly hard, and the only person who really sees how hard it is is my husband Andy. But it’s the most rewarding.”
Ennis-Hill has been third now three times (2009, 2010, 2015) and second in 2012 after winning Olympic Gold.
Kevin Sinfield bowed out of his rugby league career helping Leed’s Rhinos’ treble-securing Super League Grand Final victory over Wigan. After almost two decades after he made his debut with the team aged 16, he was only the fourth rugby league player to pass 4,000 career points and is the first rugby league player to be nominated for the Sports Personality award.
He will switch from League to Union next season when he joins Yorkshire Carnegie. He told the BBC after the awards:
“It’s completely unbelievable, I’m really humbled. To be sat here is almost uncomfortable, to win an individual award when I’ve played a team sport all my life. But it’s been a brilliant night, it’s never happened before for a rugby league player. The game has given me absolutely everything. The rugby league family have been brilliant.”
— BBC Get Inspired (@bbcgetinspired) December 20, 2015
Murray was an integral part of Britain’s Davis Cup team this year, winning 11 rubbers, and teaming up with brother Jamie for three of the often pivotal doubles rubbers and the team scooped the award, saying:
“It is hugely humbling, it is very prestigious. It has been 79 years since we last won the Davis Cup, let’s hope it doesn’t take another 79 years.
“I hope what it has achieved is we get a lasting legacy for tennis.”
Murray has often been criticised for his monotone delivery, even joking after winning his first award in 2013 that he was really happy, it’s just his voice sounded that way!
He didn’t disappoint with the quips this time as he stepped up to accept the award:
“Thank you very much. I didn’t expect this, a friend sent me a message the other day with an article saying ‘Andy Murray is duller than a weekend in Worthing’, which I thought was a bit harsh – on Worthing!”
Acknowledging that the Davis Cup achievement may well have come this year at the expense of his individual achievements, he added:
“This has been a five-year journey – we were down in the bottom level of tennis and now we’re number one. I would like to thank the whole team and the staff, who were incredible. I would like to thank my wife and my family and everyone who voted for me – I dedicate my life to this sport and I work extremely hard every day to make you proud.”
Murray will be in action alongside Heather Watson in the team invitational Hopman Cup in Perth before preparing for the Australian Open, having reached the final four times in the last five years.
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