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NORTHERN IRISH Jockey Tony ‘A.P.’ McCoy was voted 2010 BBC Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) last night (19 December) by the Great British public in a lavish ceremony at the LG Arena in Birmingham.

McCoy with his wife Chanelle.

This year McCoy finally won the Grand National at his 15th attempted on Don’t Push It, and in his long and often painful career has won over 3,300 races. He has won everything in his sport and fully deserves his title of SPOTY, becoming the very first Jump Jockey to receive the prestigious honour.

15 times World Darts Champion Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor was voted into second place and became the first Darts player to come in the top three. Reigning World Heptathlon Champion and this summer’s European Heptathlon Champion Jessica Ennis came third for the second year in a row.

The rest of the shortlist was made up of:

  • Mark Cavendish, who won five stages of the Tour de France plus the Sprint Jersey in the Vuelta (Tour of Spain).
  • Tom Daley, double Commonwealth Diving Champion.
  • David Haye, for his WBA World Heavyweight Championship belt defences.
  • Graeme McDowell, winner of the Golfing US Open – the first European in 40 years to take the title.
  • Graeme Swann, who’s’ spin bowling helped England win this summer’s series against Bangladesh and Pakistan as well as the Twenty20 World Cup.
  • Lee Westwood, who replaced Tiger Woods as the #1 Golfer in the world this year.
  • Amy Williams, Skeleton Bobsleigh Olympic Champion.

 I voted for Amy Williams, making this year the fifth year in a row that I have failed to pick the winner.

Whilst I’ll admit that everybody above deserved their nomination, there is in my eyes one glaring admission. European 5,000m and 10,000m Champion Mo Farah. Can’t the shortlist be extended to 12 people for next year so people like Farah aren’t overlooked in future please?

Overseas SPOTY was awarded to Spanish Tennis ace Rafael Nadal who won the: French Open, Wimbledon and US Open titles to complete the Career Grand Slam at the age of 24. A rightful winner.

The European Ryder Cup team received the Team of the Year award in recognition of regaining the Ryder Cup from the U.S.A. Team Captain Colin Montgomerie also won Coach of the Year. Again spot on.

16 year-old Tom Daley became the first person ever to win three Young SPOTY awards. The double Commonwealth, European and World Champion battled against injury to stun the Delhi crowd by producing a perfect 10 dive that even the reigning Olympic Champion Matthew Mitcham couldn’t beat. No contest.

Lance Haggith received the Unsung Hero Award. Mr Haggith, 50, has been helping young people of all abilities and circumstances play Basketball for the last 30 years. 😉

David Beckham was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Now I apologise to any Beckham fans out there but why on Earth has he been given this award now? He is only 35, is still playing for L.A. Galaxy and his award was presented to him by World Cup winner Sir Bobby Charlton, who only received this award two years ago. I also got very bored very quickly with the director constantly cutting to his wife and kids in the front row. I want to see great sports people honoured, and not some washed up Pop Star and ultra-fortunate fully Americanised boys. I can only think of one good thing David Beckham did in an England shirt, and that was scoring that last-minute free-kick against Greece to get England into the 2002 World Cup. In several years time Beckham I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid at this award, but at this moment in time I can only think that the BBC got a bit desperate this year.

Now onto somebody who truly deserved their award. Sir Frank Williams was awarded the Helen Rollason Award for overcoming great adversity. Sir Frank was permanently paralysed after a car crash in 1986, but still led his Williams F1 team onto great and often unrivalled success in the follow years. This along with the tribute to the sporting people we have lost in the past year brought tears to my eyes. Many, many congratulations Sir Frank.

My very own personal award for Sporting Moment of the Year goes to South African footballer Siphiwe Tshabalala for his wonder goal against Mexico in the opening game of this summer’s World Cup. It is a goal that I will never forget and feel privileged to have seen it live.

I would also like to honour legendary Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar. This year he has become the most caped Test Cricketer of all time, surpassed 14,500 Test runs, become the first player ever to score a double century in an O.D.I., and just yesterday became the first batsman to score 50 Test centuries (which I was lucky enough to witness as well).

Let’s hope that 2011 gives us more fantastic sport!

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