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BBC Sports Personality of the Year awarded to Andy Murray

Belfast coach Damien Lindsay lifts Unsung Hero award ... Tony McCoy collects lifetime achievement gong ... Michael O’Neill  wins Coach of the Year

Published 20/12/2015

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.

Andy Murray has been named BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 2015.

Accepting the award, the tennis star said he had not prepared an acceptance speech and thanked everyone who had voted for him.

Murray played an instrumental role in helping Great Britain to secure a historic Davis Cup title in November.

Rugby league star Kevin Sinfield was the runner-up while world champion heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill came third.

Murray said: "Thank you very much, I genuinely didn't prepare anything, I didn't expect this.

"A friend actually sent me a message the other day with an article from a newspaper which said that 'Andy Murray is duller than a weekend in Worthing', which I thought was a bit harsh - to Worthing."

Dressed in a navy suit that matched the rest of his Davis Cup colleagues, Murray explained his wife Kim was unable to attend on account of her pregnancy.

He added: "It's very humbling to be up here in front of so many great athletes, I'm a huge sports fan and I'm extremely nervous right now, so apologies about that, but congratulations to everyone who was involved tonight.

"I would really like to thank my team, all my team-mates, all of the staff that were over there, they were absolutely incredible.

"This has been a five-year journey, we were down at the bottom level of tennis and now we're ranked number one in the world - I never thought that would be possible.

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
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.

"I'd also like to thank my family, some of them are here, not all of them are here - my wife is at home, she's expecting a baby in a few weeks and is unable to travel, so I've got that to look forward to.

"I'd like to thank everyone who voted for me, I really appreciate that.

"I dedicate my life to this sport, I work as hard as I can every single day to try and make you proud and I appreciate all the votes - thank you very much."

Michael O’Neill  wins Coach of the Year

Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill  was named Coach of the Year.

For O’Neill, now one of the most respected coaches in the game, it was the perfect way to end what has been a dream 2015.

In October he guided Northern Ireland to the European Championship finals for the first time in the country’s history and the praise has been flowing in his direction ever since.

He was overwhelmed by the incredible reception he received from 7,500 people, all of whom stood to recognise his achievements as Portrush golfing hero Graeme McDowell and  legendary athlete Denise Lewis presented him with his award.

Belfast coach Damien Lindsay lifts Unsung Hero award

West Belfast coach Damien Lindsay won the Get Inspired Unsung Hero award.

The Unsung Hero award honours individuals from the world of grassroots sport and recognises those who, on a voluntary basis, go the extra mile to contribute to sport in their local community. Damien formed St James Swifts FC to encourage local children to become involved insport as opposed to anti-social behaviour. He was selected from 15 regional winners from across the UK and was presented the award in his hometown by Eddie Izzard.

 

Tony McCoy collects lifetime achievement gong

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."

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.
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.

The decision to award the Moneyglass man the prestigious prize had been announced last week but that did not take away from the emotion and joy of the Northern Ireland public inside the SSE Arena seeing one of their own join an illustrious list of iconic sporting figures.

There was a prolonged standing ovation from the 7,000 crowd for the hugely popular 41-year-old jockey who retired earlier this year.

McIlroy, said: “It is very special. I look at the names on this award and I’ve proud to have my own name beside such global superstars. So many other people have had a hand in my sucesss. The owners, the trainers and the horses I was lucky enough to ride. I couldn’t have picked a better sport.”

Rugby star Dan Carter was named as Overseas Sports Personality of the Year before the event.

The Racing 92 fly-half, who helped New Zealand win the Rugby World Cup, staved off competition from big names like Usain Bolt, Novak Djokovic, Katie Ledecky, Jordan Spieth and Serena Williams after the award was decided by a public vote for the first time.

This year's Get Inspired Unsung Hero prize went to West Belfast man Damien Lindsay, who formed St James Swifts football club to prevent young people in his local area from being dragged into anti social behaviour like rioting.

Tyson Fury and wife Paris before 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.

Mr Lindsay was selected from 15 regional winners and was presented with the award by comedian Eddie Izzard.

Ellie Downie has become the second consecutive gymnast to carry off the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award.

The Nottingham 16-year-old succeeds Great Britain team-mate Claudia Fragapane, who won the award in 2014.

Downie became the first British female gymnast to win a major all-around medal when she won bronze at the European Championships.

And she followed that up by clinching team gold at the World Championships in Glasgow alongside elder sister Becky, Fragapane, Ruby Harrold and Amy Tinkler.

Downie joins an illustrious list of previous winners of the award, including Wayne Rooney and Tom Daley.

Bailey Matthews was the recipient of the Helen Rollason Award, which is presented for an "outstanding achievement in the face of adversity".

The eight-year-old from Yorkshire, who has cerebral palsy, completed a children's triathlon at Castle Howard in June.

Bookmakers have reported "one-way traffic" for Andy Murray to win the 2015 BBC Sports Personality of the Year title.

According to Coral, the tennis champion has odds of 8-13 while Jessica Ennis-Hill goes into the evening just behind, on 5-2.

Tyson Fury can be backed at 18-1.

Coral's John Hill said: "Over 70% of the bets we are taking today on tonight's award ceremony are for Andy Murray, who is the warm favourite to win this award after he helped Great Britain to their first Davis Cup success since 1936."

Twelve of the biggest names in sport will go head to head for the coveted award, which will be revealed during a live show in Belfast tonight.

Some 7,500 people are expected to pack into the SSE Arena for the star-studded ceremony.

Murray, 28, helped make history by guiding Great Britain to their first Davis Cup victory for almost 80 years, and heptathlete Ennis-Hill, 29, won her second world title in Beijing in August, just months after giving birth.

Others in the running include "king of the long jump" Greg Rutherford, who took gold at the World Championships, Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton, world road race cycling champion Lizzie Armitstead and runner Mo Farah, who also enjoyed success in Beijing, winning his third successive 5,000m world gold medal.

However, the inclusion on the shortlist of world heavyweight champion boxer Tyson Fury has sparked a major outcry.

Controversial comments he made allegedly equating homosexuality with paedophilia, joking about being violent to women, and saying a woman's "best place is on her back" have prompted gay and equal rights campaigners to mount protests outside the SSE Arena ahead of the main event.

It is the first time the event has been staged in Northern Ireland.

The awards are being hosted by Gary Lineker, Clare Balding and Gabby Logan.

Last year the ceremony took place in Glasgow, when Hamilton took the crown, with golfer Rory McIlroy in second place and athlete Jo Pavey in third.

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