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Andy Murray wins third BBC Sports Personality of the Year award

Andy Murray has become the first person to win BBC Sports Personality of the Year three times, winning the 2016 title by a landslide.

The 29-year-old tennis star beat 15 other contenders, including cycling's power couple Jason and Laura Kenny, Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy and Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah, to clinch the top spot.

He received 247,419 votes for the award after winning Wimbledon, Olympic gold and finishing the season as the world's top-ranked tennis player.

As tension built, the Duke of Cambridge and athletics champion Jessica Ennis-Hill took to the stage to announce who had got the first, second and third spots at the ceremony in Birmingham.

Receiving the award in Miami, Murray thanked his wife and daughter "who won't know what this means yet", adding "maybe in a few years she'll appreciate it".

Speaking to the 12,000-strong audience he said: "I appreciate everyone's support and congrats to all of the athletes there tonight.

"It's been an amazing year for British sport and I'm very proud to be a part of it."

However the world number one joked he "had a bone to pick" with his wife after he said she had voted for Olympic showjumping gold medallist Nick Skelton, who came third with 109,197 votes.

Two-time Olympic triathlon champion Alistair Brownlee gained 121,665 votes becoming runner-up to the tennis star, who beamed as he held the trophy aloft.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon extended her congratulations to the athlete tweeting: " Well done, Andy Murray! BBC Sports Personality of the Year for a record third time ... and thoroughly well deserved."

Fellow SNP politician Alex Salmond joined her, posting: "A huge congratulations to @andy_murray, the first man to win the @BBCSPOTY treble", while Kensington Palace tweeted that the achievement was "another milestone in an incredible sporting career".

Following the Scottish athlete's success, bookmaker Coral announced it had suspended betting on him being knighted in the New Year honours list.

Meanwhile, Leicester bagged a stunning double feat when manager Claudio Ranieri was named coach of the year for guiding the Foxes to a shock Premier League title triumph in May.

The side, which was then crowned team of the year, were 5,000-1 to lift the trophy at the start of last season.

Swimmer Michael Phelps got the royal seal of approval as the Duke of Cambridge presented him with the lifetime achievement award after capping his career with five Olympic golds in Rio.

William said it was a "particular privilege" to be able to hand him the accolade, telling the swimmer: "You are one of the greatest sporting icons this world has ever had.

"And your 23 gold medals - never mind all the other colour - pales into sheer superhuman history.

"Hopefully your retirement gives somebody else a chance now," the Duke finished jokingly, after the crowd stood to cheer the US athlete.

The swimmer responded by saying: "It's an honour to stand in front of these athletes, to be able to hear the stories from everybody, to watch what they go through and to be able to hear the goals and the dreams that they have and them not giving up.

"Thank you, this means absolutely the world to me," he added.

L ater on, the Invictus Games choir sang David Bowie's Heroes in memory of the sporting figures who have died in 2016.

Listening in the audience was BBC sports presenter Ore Oduba, fresh from his Strictly Come Dancing success on Saturday night.

In one of the more moving parts of the night, runner and fundraiser Ben Smith was presented with the Helen Rollason award by Paula Radcliffe and Olympic diver Tom Daley.

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

He told the BBC: "I found running as my sanctuary, I found it as my way of being able to express myself and be who I was and not have to lie any more.

"I didn't have any confidence or self esteem and I was scared about who I was."

He went on: "Running gave me back my confidence, it gave me my self esteem, but most importantly I'm not afraid any more, so thank you."

Another memorable moment saw the Duke of Cambridge join in with the rest of the auditorium in a dramatic Icelandic Viking chant.

Paralympic swimmer Ellie Robinson, 15, was named BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year and Marcellus Baz, a boxing coach from the East Midlands, was the BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero.

American gymnast Simone Biles, who won four gold medals and a bronze at the Rio Olympics, was the overseas winner.

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