Belfast Telegraph

Michael Conlan knockout winner of Belfast Telegraph Sports Star of the Year Award

By Steven Beacom

Michael Conlan has started 2016 as he ended last year - as a winner after being named the Belfast Telegraph Sports Star of the Year for 2015.

The Belfast boxer saw off tough competition to land the top prize at last night's star studded Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards, sponsored by Linwoods, at the Ramada Plaza hotel.

Last year bantamweight Conlan was peerless as first he qualified for the Rio Olympics, then became European champion before creating history by winning the World Amateur Championship.

It was the first time ever that anyone from Northern Ireland had ever won a World title at the event.

Being crowned our Sports Star of the Year was the perfect way to start 2016 when he believes he will become Olympic champion before turning professional.

"It is fantastic to win the Belfast Telegraph Sports Star of the Year award for 2015, especially against such tough competition," said a delighted Conlan.

"I have won other categories at the Awards and to win the big prize means a lot to me.

"This is a great boost to me as I prepare to go and win the gold medal in Rio."

It was also a successful night for the Northern Ireland football squad, who won the Team of the Year prize for making it to the Euro 2016 finals in France.

Michael O'Neill was named as the Manager of the Year and captain Steven Davis clinched the Malcolm Brodie Player of the Year.

One of the best receptions of the night was for former Northern Ireland skipper and current Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill, who was inducted into the Belfast Telegraph Hall of Fame.

Belfast Telegraph

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