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Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2015: Stars ready to fight it out for your vote

By Frank Brownlow

Published 12/11/2015

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Jonatha Rea 2015 Jerez 2015 World Superbike Champion
INTERNET OUT Jonatha Rea 2015 Jerez 2015 World Superbike Champion

Rory McIlroy and Carl Frampton set a stunning standard as last year’s joint winners of the Belfast Telegraph Sports Star award.

The winners of the 2015 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards — supported by main sponsor Linwoods — will be announced at a glittering bash at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast on January 25.

And although 2015 hasn’t gone as smoothly as golfing superstar McIlroy would have liked, Frampton has continued his relentless bid for world domination.

The World super-bantamweight champion has been making headlines by securing the much-anticipated domestic blockbuster with Scott Quigg in Manchester on February 27.

Belfast fighter Frampton, under the guidance of the legendary Barry McGuigan, has powered his way to the top of the boxing world with more triumphs in 2015, stopping Chris Avalos at the Odyssey Arena in February before forsaking home comforts by jetting to Texas for a points verdict against Alejandro González Jr.

Jonathan Rea raced to the World Superbike title, leaving rivals trailing in his wake.

The 28-year-old from Kilwaughter secured the coveted title at Jerez in Spain in September, joining an elite group of Ulstermen to have become world motorcycling champions.

Rea is the fourth member of an elite club of riders who have won world titles and the first since double TT Formula 2 world champion Brian Reid in 1985 and 1986. 

Belfast man Ralf Bryans was the first in 1965 when he won the 50cc Grand Prix world title, followed by the legendary Joey Dunlop who won five TT Formula One world titles between 1982 and 1986.

The son of TT winner Johnny Rea and grandson of leading road racing sponsor John Rea paid tribute to both Reid and Dunlop by wearing replicas of their famous Arai helmet designs.

Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, BelfastÊ
Amy Uprichard (representing the Daisy Lodge Cancer Fund for Children Centre, supported by the Rory McIlroy Foundation) and Carl Frampton
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, BelfastÊ Amy Uprichard (representing the Daisy Lodge Cancer Fund for Children Centre, supported by the Rory McIlroy Foundation) and Carl Frampton
Amy Uprichard picks up Rory McIlroy's award at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast
Malcolm Brodie Player of the Year sponsored by Linwoods Bryn Cunningham (Ulster Team Manager) receives the award on behalf of Andrew Trimble from Patrick Woods (Operations Manager of Linwoods) and Kevin Saurette (Belfast Giants).
Justine McGrath, daughter of Jack Kyle during a tribute to her father
WJ Paddy Patterson Award sponsored by Northern Ireland Sports Forum Doreen Miskelly receives her award from Gordon Reid (Vice- Chairman Northern Ireland Sports Forum)
Sports Star with a Disability Award sponsored by The National Lottery Kelly Gallagher receives her award from Brian Henning (Chairman Sport NI, National Lottery?s distributer for sports funding inn Northern Ireland) and Dame Mary Peters.
Local Heroes Award sponsored by Sport NI Anto Finnegan receives his award from Antoinette McKeown (Chief Executive of Sport NI) and Tyrone Manager Mickey Harte.
Northern Ireland Greatest Ever Sports Star (as voted for by Belfast Telegraph readers) Ian Best receives the award for George Best (runner up) from Richard McClean (Managing Director of the Belfast Telegraph).
Northern Ireland Greatest Ever Sports Star (as voted for by Belfast Telegraph readers) Ian Best receives the award for George Best (runner up) from Richard McClean (Managing Director of the Belfast Telegraph).
Northern Ireland Greatest Ever Sports Star (as voted for by Belfast Telegraph readers) Joanne Dunlop, Donna McLean receives the award for Joey Dunlop (winner) from Richard McClean (Managing Director of the Belfast Telegraph).
George Best Breakthrough Award sponsored by The Ramada Plaza Hotel Conor McLaughlin receives his award from Brian Thornton (General Manager Ramada Plaza Hotel) and Peter Canavan.
Hall of Fame sponsored by Belleek Living David Healy receives his award from Rachael Weir (Belleek Living), Michael O?Neill and Martin O?Neill.
Amy Uprichard (representing the Daisy Lodge Cancer Fund for Children Centre, supported by the Rory McIlroy Foundation) and Carl Frampton receives their awards from Mike Gilson (Belfast Telegraph Editor) and Joanne Hayden (Marketing Manager, Linwoods).
Pamela and Jimmy Kirkwood
Sally Gardiner and Karen Wallace
Claire McCollum and Mike Bull
Sarah and Amy Uprichard
Steve Beacom, Peter Rainey and Ed McCann
David Healey and Jackie Fullerton
2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast. Amy Uprichard (representing the Daisy Lodge Cancer Fund for Children Centre, supported by the Rory McIlroy Foundation) and Carl Frampton
Barry McGuigan, Carl Frampton, Christine Frampton and Shane McGuigan
Mike Gilson, Editor, Belfast Telegraph
David Healy and Barry McGuigan
Willie Anderson.
Carl Frampton
Claire McCollum and Jackie Fullerton on stage
Antoinette McKeown (Chief Executive of Sport NI)
Barry McGuigan
Sport NI Young Ambassador Bethany Firth
2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast - Boxer Paddy Barnes
2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast - John Conlan
2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast - John Conlan Conor McLaughlin
2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast -David Healy
2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast - Justine McGrath, daughter of Jack Kyle during a tribute to her father
2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast - Ian Best
2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast - Joanne Dunlop and Donna McLean
2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast -Carl Frampton
2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast -David Healy
2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast - Martin O'Neill
2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast - David Healy
2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast - Young Team of the Year sponsored by Sport NI Portora Royal School Boat Club Boys Junior Coxed Eight receive their award from Sport NI Young Ambassador Bethany Firth and Richard Archibald (SINI).
2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast - Michael McKillop and Nicole Martin
2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast - Special Recognition Award sponsored by Centra Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan receive their award from Nigel Maxwell (Centra Sales Director) and Willie Anderson.
2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast - Sports Star with a Disability Award sponsored by The National Lottery Kelly Gallagher receives her award from Brian Henning (Chairman Sport NI, National Lottery?s distributer for sports funding inn Northern Ireland) and Dame Mary Peters.
2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast - Local Heroes Award sponsored by Sport NI Anto Finnegan receives his award from Antoinette McKeown (Chief Executive of Sport NI) and Tyrone Manager Mickey Harte.
2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast - Young Player of the Year sponsored by mamba Chloe Watson receives her award from Jamie Knight (mamba ambassador) and Barry McGuigan
2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast. Team of the Year sponsored by The Outlet NI Commonwealth Games Boxing Team Paddy Barnes, Michael Conlon, Michaela Walsh, Sean McGlinchy, Steven Donnelly, Sean Duffy, Joe Fitzpatrick and Ruairi Dalton receive their award from Chris Nelmes (Centre Manager, The Outlet) and Conor Niland (Irish Davis Cup captain).
2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast. Northern Ireland Greatest Ever Sports Star (as voted for by Belfast Telegraph readers) Joanne Dunlop, Donna McLean receives the award for Joey Dunlop (winner) from Richard McClean (Managing Director of the Belfast Telegraph).
2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast.Hall of Fame sponsored by Belleek Living David Healy receives his award from Rachael Weir (Belleek Living), Michael O?Neill and Martin O?Neill.
2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast. Hall of Fame sponsored by Belleek Living David Healy receives his award from Rachael Weir (Belleek Living), Michael O?Neill and Martin O?Neill.
2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast.Martin McAviney and Sean O'Neill
2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast.Julie morrow, Jill Costley, Hannah Grieve and Alex Hurst from Lurgan College
2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast.Sports Star of the Year sponsored by Linwoods Amy Uprichard (representing the Daisy Lodge Cancer Fund for Children Centre, supported by the Rory McIlroy Foundation) and Carl Frampton receives their awards from Mike Gilson (Belfast Telegraph Editor) and Joanne Hayden (Marketing Manager, Linwoods).
2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast.Thomas Beckett, Jackie Fullerton, Andrew Ewing, Margaret Tollerton and Paddy Barnes
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Jason Harvey and Brian Henning (Chairman Sport NI)
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Jason Harvey, Sean Duffy and Michael Conlon
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Anto and Alison Finnegan
2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast - Jonathan and Rosemary Mawhinney
Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast - Rebecca Fulron and Conor McLaughlin
2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast - Rebecca Fulton and Conor McLaughlin
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Keith Crossan and Philip Rainey
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Kevin Saurette, Pamela Ballantine and Adam Keefe
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Gavin Devlin, Mickey Harte and David Healey
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast?
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Gavin Devlin, Mickey Harte and David Healey
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Simon Brien and Tiffany Brien
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Joanne Hayden (Marketing Manager, Linwoods), David Healey and Claire McCollum
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Kelly Gallagher and Petrenan Canavan
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Pete Snodden and Kelly Gallagher
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast?
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Mike Gilson
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Claire McCollum and Jackie Fullerton on stage
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Claire McCollum and Jackie Fullerton on stage
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Jackie Reid and Nicole Martin
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast?
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Mike Gilson
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Charlotte Campbell, Sarah Weir and Steve Beacom
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Carrickfergus Cricket Club
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Paul Gray, Janet Gray and Barry McGuigan
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Anto and Alison Finnegan
Chloe Wilson and Linda WilsonPress Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Chloe Wilson and Linda Wilson
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Alex and Fi McGreevey
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Joy Rodgers, Michelle Chambers, Sarah Weir and Karen McGarvey
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Bethany Firth and Sharon Mulholland

It will be the last time AP McCoy figures in the race for the Belfast Telegraph Sports Star award, and what a momentous year it has been for the iron man from Moneyglass.

McCoy retired from the saddle in April — just before turning 41 — after clinching an incredible 20th successive champion jockey title and with a record tally of 4,348 winners that will never be bettered. He bows out as one of the all-time greats of Ulster sport.  

Michael Conlan achieved a unique feat when he became the first Irishman to win a world amateur title, beating Murodjon Akhmadaliev of Uzbekistan on a unanimous decision in the bantamweight final in Doha last month.

The 23-year-old from Belfast  fancies his chances of Olympic gold in Rio next summer.  

Ulster has made a splash in rowing in recent years thanks to the likes of Coleraine trio Alan Campbell and the Chambers brothers, Richard and Peter.

And this year a new champion emerged.

Joel Cassells — also from Coleraine — won lightweight pairs gold, alongside GB team mate Sam Scrimgeour, at the World Championships in France in September.

At just 21, Cassells will be looking to make a major impact at the Rio Olympics next summer. 

Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop are also tipped for glory in Rio.

The pair are two of the finest Paralympians on the planet, with both striking gold at last month’s IPC World Championships in Doha.

Smyth, from Eglinton, took gold in the 100m, retaining his title in a time of 10.62 seconds, making him the fastest Paralympian on earth.

The 28-year-old opted out of defending his 200m crown to fly home and be with his wife Elise for the birth of their first child. McKillop (25) bagged a middle distance double in the 800m and 1500m.

Michael O’Neill’s Northern Ireland have been propelled to next summer’s Euro finals by a great team spirit allied to some superb individual contributions.

We’re sure you’ll have your own contenders for the coveted Belfast Telegraph  Sports Star award.

To vote visit www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sportsawards2015

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