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Andy Murray wins two Sports Personality of the Year gongs in Belfast

Published 21/12/2015

Andy Murray won the Sports Personality of the Year award for the second time
Andy Murray won the Sports Personality of the Year award for the second time

Andy Murray was rewarded for steering Great Britain to its first Davis Cup triumph in 79 years with a double success at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards at the SSE Arena in Belfast on Sunday.

Murray picked up the main crown for the second time in three years and the Team of the Year award along with the team-mates who helped fashion their historic triumph over Belgium in Ghent last month.

Murray polled 361,446 votes, placing him ahead of former Leeds Rhinos star Kevin Sinfield, who came second with 278,353 after a sustained and ultimately successful campaign by the rugby league community.

Together, Murray and Sinfield polled almost two thirds of the 1,009,498 registered votes, with Jessica Ennis-Hill placing third with 79,898 votes and controversial boxer Tyson Fury finishing fourth.

Fury's failure to reach the top three will have come as a relief to the BBC, which defied a campaign calling on the world heavyweight champion to be excluded from the shortlist over his controversial opinions on homosexuals and women.

Fury was faced with a small but vocal protest from equal rights campaigners outside the venue but received a reasonable reception as he attempted to explain his comments in a brief set-piece interview with host Gary Lineker.

"I've said a lot of stuff in the past and none of it with intentions to hurt anybody," Fury said.

"It's all very tongue-in-cheek, it's all fun and games to me. I'm not a very serious kind of person - it's all very happy-go-lucky with Tyson Fury.

"If I've said anything in the past that's hurt anybody, I apologise."

Murray insisted he was surprised to win the award for the second time and praised the achievements of his shortlisted rivals, including Fury and Ennis-Hill.

Winner of 2015 Sports Personality of the Year Andy Murray during Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Winner of 2015 Sports Personality of the Year Andy Murray during Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Winner of Coach of the Year, Michael O'Neill during Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Winner of the Unsung Hero Award, Damien Lindsay with his award during Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Tony McCoy poses with his Lifetime Achievement Award during Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Dina Asher-Smith and Carl Frampton during Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday December 20, 2015. See PA story SPORT Personality. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Winner of Young Sports Personality of the Year, Ellie Downie during Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday December 20, 2015. See PA story SPORT Personality. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Andy Murray during Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday December 20, 2015. See PA story SPORT Personality. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Tony McCoy with his award during Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Rory McIlroy onstage to present Winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Tony McCoy with his award during Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Tony McCoy poses with his Lifetime Achievement Award during Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Kevin Sinfield onstage with Leeds Rhino's teammates during Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Winner of the Helen Rollason Award, Bailey Matthews during Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Niall Horan and Rebecca Adlington during Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Niall Horan and Rebecca Adlington during Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Rory McIlroy and Niall Horan during Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Ella Henderson, performing with Sigma, during Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Tyson Fury and wife Paris before Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Adam Peaty on stage during Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Adam Peaty on stage with Presenter Gabby Logan during Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Max Whitlock on stage with Presenter Gabby Logan during Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Max Whitlock performs on stage during Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Max Whitlock performs on stage during Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Lucy Bronze on stage during Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Lucy Bronze speaks to Presenter Gary Lineker during Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Lucy Bronze with the England Women's football team speaks to Presenter Gary Lineker during Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Greg Rutherford speaks to Presenter Gabby Logan during Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Jenny Jones and friends on the red carpet before the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award at Odyssey Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Rory McIlroy and Niall Horan attends the Red Carpet for the SPOTY awards at Titanic Belfast on Sunday evening ,The BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2015 is held at the SSE Arena in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Leeds Rhinos attends the Red Carpet for the SPOTY awards at Titanic Belfast on Sunday evening ,The BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2015 is held at the SSE Arena in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Dan Carter and wife Honor during the red carpet arrivals for Sports Personality of the Year 2015, at the Titanic Belfast, Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday December 20, 2015. See PA story SPORT Personality. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Tyson Fury and wife Paris before Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Tim Wheeler from Ash performs on stage before Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Michael Conlon and Paddy Barnes during the red carpet arrivals for Sports Personality of the Year 2015, at the Titanic Belfast, Belfast.
Tony McCoy before Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Shane Lowry speaks to Graeme McDowell before Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Eamonn Holmes speaks to Eddie Izzard on stage before Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Jessica Ennis-Hill in the crowd before Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Kevin Sinfield pictured with team mates arriving at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year red carpet event at Titanic Belfast, the worldÕs largest Titanic visitor attraction Picture by Andrew Paton/Press Eye.com
Judy Murray on the red carpet before the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award at Odyssey Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Carrie Davenport/Getty Images)
The Great Britain Davis Cup tennis team with Andy Murray on the red carpet before the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award at Odyssey Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Carrie Davenport/Getty Images)
AP McCoy on the red carpet before the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award at Odyssey Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Carrie Davenport/Getty Images)
Jenny Jones and friends on the red carpet before the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award at Odyssey Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Carrie Davenport/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - DECEMBER 20: gymnasts on the red carpet before the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award at Odyssey Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Carrie Davenport/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - DECEMBER 20: Adam Peaty attends the BBC Sports Personality of theon the red carpet before the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award at Odyssey Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Carrie Davenport/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - DECEMBER 20: Pat Jennings on the red carpet before the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award at Odyssey Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Carrie Davenport/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - DECEMBER 20: The Leeds Rhinos on the red carpet before the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award at Odyssey Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Carrie Davenport/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - DECEMBER 20: Tyson Fury and his family on the red carpet before the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award at Odyssey Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Carrie Davenport/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - DECEMBER 20: Gymnast Beth Tweddle on the red carpet before the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award at Odyssey Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Carrie Davenport/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - DECEMBER 20: boxers Barry McGuigan and Carl Frampton with their partners on the red carpet before the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award at Odyssey Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Carrie Davenport/Getty Images)
Credit - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - December 20, Jessica Ennis arrives at the BBC SPORTS PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR 2015: RED CARPET in Belfast, Northern Ireland on December 20 ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
PACEMAKER BELFAST 20/12/2015 Andy Murray attends the Red Carpet for the SPOTY awards at Titanic Belfast on Sunday evening ,The BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2015 is held at the SSE Arena in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 20/12/2015 Kevin Sinfield attends the Red Carpet for the SPOTY awards at Titanic Belfast on Sunday evening ,The BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2015 is held at the SSE Arena in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 20/12/2015 Andy Murray attends the Red Carpet for the SPOTY awards at Titanic Belfast on Sunday evening ,The BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2015 is held at the SSE Arena in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Boxing Heavyweight Champion of the World Tyson Fury arrives at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards in Belfast
Boxing Heavyweight Champion of the World Tyson Fury arrives at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards in Belfast
Footballer Lucy Bronze arrives at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards in Belfast
Tyson Fury and his father pose on the red carpet before the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award at Odyssey Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Carrie Davenport/Getty Images)
Paris and Tyson Fury pose on the red carpet before the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award at Odyssey Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Carrie Davenport/Getty Images)
Andy Hill and Jessica Ennis-Hill on the red carpet at Titanic Building before the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award at Odyssey Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Carrie Davenport/Getty Images)
Denise Lewis on the red carpet at Titanic Building before the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award at Odyssey Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Carrie Davenport/Getty Images)
Lizzie Armitstead poses on the red carpet before the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award at Odyssey Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Carrie Davenport/Getty Images)
Presenter Jordanne Whiley poses on the red carpet at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award at Odyssey Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Carrie Davenport/Getty Images)
Sameenah Toussaint (National Boxing Champion 13yr age group) and Blue Peter Presenter Radzi Chinyanganya on the red carpet at Titanic Building before the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award at the SSE Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Carrie Davenport/Getty Images)
Unsung Heroes on the red carpet at Titanic Building before the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award at Odyssey Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Carrie Davenport/Getty Images)
Eamonn Holmes during the red carpet arrivals for Sports Personality of the Year 2015, at the Titanic Belfast, Belfast. Brian Lawless/PA Wire.
Dennis Taylor during the red carpet arrivals for Sports Personality of the Year 2015, at the Titanic Belfast, Belfast. Brian Lawless/PA Wire.
Jay Beattie arrives at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award at the SSE Arena in Belfast. Photo Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph.
Mike Gibson during the red carpet arrivals for Sports Personality of the Year 2015, at the Titanic Belfast, Belfast. Brian Lawless/PA Wire.
Jason Mohammad during the red carpet arrivals for Sports Personality of the Year 2015, at the Titanic Belfast, Belfast. Brian Lawless/PA Wire.
Sean Cavanagh during the red carpet arrivals for Sports Personality of the Year 2015, at the Titanic Belfast, Belfast. Brian Lawless/PA Wire.
The Unsung Heroes during the red carpet arrivals for Sports Personality of the Year 2015, at the Titanic Belfast, Belfast. Brian Lawless/PA Wire.
Nicola Adams arrives at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award at the SSE Arena in Belfast. Pic: Andrew Paton/Press Eye.com
Jay Beattie arrives at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award at the SSE Arena in Belfast. Photo Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph.
Guests arrive at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award at the SSE Arena in Belfast. Photo Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph.
Nicola Adams arrives at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award at the SSE Arena in Belfast. Photo Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph.
Dame Mary Peters, Darren Clarke and Barry McGuigan with the Sports Personality of the Year trophy.

"I didn't expect to win because there have been so many great performances this year," he said.

"I am a big boxing fan. I know what Tyson Fury did, it was an incredible achievement.

"What Jess Ennis did, winning a World Championship gold medal, is an extremely difficult thing to do.

"To do it so soon after becoming a mother - I'll never be able to know what that is like but I can imagine the amount of hard work and dedication that goes into that, and sacrifices as well must be great."

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill was a popular winner of the Coach of the Year award after leading his nation to the Euro 2016 finals.

O'Neill said: "Two years ago we were not in a great place and it would have been easier for me to walk away and for the association to go with someone else, but we stuck together and we are where we are today."

Jockey AP McCoy received the Lifetime Achievement Award after bringing his illustrious career to a close in April.

McCoy - who won the main Sports Personality prize in 2010 - retired after riding 4,357 winners and being crowned Champion Jockey 20 consecutive times.

After receiving the award from fellow Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, McCoy said: "Could I just say what an honour and a privilege it is to receive such a prestigious award, especially here in Belfast.

"Being from Northern Ireland, a place that has produced so many talented and successful sports people... it makes tonight even more special.

"Racing is a wonderful sport. I was lucky to live my life as a jockey through it and for that I will be for ever grateful."

Former All Blacks fly-half Dan Carter paid an emotional tribute to Jonah Lomu after picking up the BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year award.

The 33-year-old Carter ended his international career by leading New Zealand to World Cup glory in England in the summer.

But the victory was overshadowed by the death of Lomu - who won the same award in 1995 - in November.

"He is an absolute legend of the sport and it was a shock to the people who knew him and the sporting community," Carter said.

"He changed the sport forever. I was lucky enough to get to know him - he was such a caring and thoughtful guy and he will be missed by everyone."

Ellie Downie became the second consecutive gymnast to carry off the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award after winning bronze medals at both the European and World Championships this year.

Eight-year-old Bailey Matthews, who has cerebral palsy, was the recipient of the Helen Rollason Award after completing a junior triathlon in June, while Damien Lindsay won the BBC Sport Unsung Hero award for his football and community work in Belfast.

List of winners: Sports Personality: 1. Andy Murray, 2 Kevin Sinfield, 3. Jessica Ennis-Hill; Coach of the Year: Michael O'Neill; Team of the Year: Great Britain Davis Cup; Overseas Personality: Dan Carter; Young Personality; Ellie Downie; Helen Rollason Award: Bailey Matthews; Lifetime achievement: AP McCoy.

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