Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards: Carl Frampton wins and Cliftonville secure a double

By Steven Beacom

It was a wonderful night for Carl Frampton and Cliftonville Football Club at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards.

The Irish League outfit walked away with two prestigious trophies while Frampton claimed a Special prize and was overjoyed to present an award to the man who started his blossoming career.

For his sterling efforts in 2013 the Tigers Bay fighter collected a Special Recognition award.

Frampton, of course, became European Super Bantamweight champion in February last year beating Kiko Martinez at a sell-out Odyssey Arena and defended his title in Belfast against Frenchman Jeremy Parodi several months later.

Frampton told the audience at the Ramada Plaza Hotel last night that his aim is to become world champion in 2014.

Watching on was his manager Barry McGuigan, who intends making that happen.

After accepting his prize, Carl stayed on stage to present Billy McKee with the Local Heroes award along with Sport NI's new chief executive Antoinette McKeown.

Billy has spent a lifetime working with kids at the Midland boxing club in north Belfast and was the man who started Frampton's career.

He's an unsung hero and a true Local Hero and deserving of some recognition of his own.

Boxing enjoyed a treble success because Jack Monaghan became the latest recipient of the Paddy Patterson Services to Sport award, which honours those behind the scenes who have served Ulster with great distinction over the years.

Jack, a long time member of the Ulster Council of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association, has been a key figure of the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council for decades.

Cliftonville won the Irish League and League Cup in 2013 and delivered another double last night by claiming the competitive Team of the Year prize and seeing Tommy Breslin crowned as Manager/Coach of the Year. Our World Champion cyclist Martyn Irvine, now based in Denver, won the George Best Breakthrough prize following a stunning 12 months when he took the cycling world by storm.

He was delighted to follow previous winners like Rory McIlroy, Jonny Evans and Peter Chambers in being awarded the Bestie prize.

“When you think of the names that won this award in the past it makes me feel very proud to be in that company,” said Martyn, from America.

This year we named an award after our late, great Sports Editor Malcolm Brodie, who passed away almost 12 months ago.

Malcolm's family attended the ceremony last night and the Malcolm Brodie Player of the Year prize went to motorcycling hero Michael Dunlop, who had a spectacular 2013.

Partially sighted skier Kelly Gallagher was the victor in the Sports Person with a Disability category and teenage archery sensation Patrick Huston took home the Young Player of the Year trophy at the awards, which have Linwoods as the title sponsor.

Kelly is aiming for Winter Paralympics success this year while Patrick is targeting the Olympics in 2016.

The Young Team of the Year prize was won by the unbeatable Lurgan College 1st XI Girls Hockey team and the Ulster players from the Ireland women's rugby team were on hand to accept a Special Recognition award for their part in securing a historic Grand Slam triumph. It was quite a night.

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