Uproar as Rory McIlroy misses out on BBC Sports Personality of the Year
Holywood hero pipped for top sports accolade by F1 champ Hamilton
Angry Northern Ireland sports fans last night slammed the shock result which saw World Number One golfer Rory McIlroy sensationally beaten by Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton to the title of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
The result - which is decided by public vote - saw Co Down man McIlroy lose out and social media was immediately ablaze with outrage from Northern Ireland.
Earlier, McIlroy - who won The Open and also the US PGA titles this year as well as being part of Europe's winning Ryder Cup team - was hot favourite with the bookies, being 1/6 on at one stage with Paddy Power who had Hamilton as a 10/3 outsider.
Stormont DUP minister Jim Wells tweeted: "So disappointed. What on earth does Rory have to do to win Sports Personality of the Year?"
Radio star and former chatshow host Gerry Kelly tweeted: "Bad, bad, bad decision for #SPOTY. Really disappointed for Rory who obviously should have won."
Others said they were outraged at the result.
Rory himself tweeted late last night: "Thanks to all who voted for me! Congrats to all the candidates and especially @LewisHamilton, thoroughly deserved and a worthy winner!"
No one was more surprised at winning the award at a glitzy ceremony in Glasgow than Hamilton himself who said: "I really wasn't expecting it."
Hamilton added: "I am so speechless. A massive thank you to all the people that called in, I really was not expecting it because dude (McIlroy), you had such an incredible year."
Earlier McIlroy had toasted a good result... he was at Old Trafford to see his heroes Manchester United cruise to victory over old foes Liverpool.
During last night's Glasgow event, McIlroy had brought The Open trophy with him on stage and he said: "It really was a phenomenal year. There are so many people in this room... I think the common denominator of people who are the best in what they do is hard work, that is what I put it down to, hard work, dedication and really loving what you do and I really found that love for the game again this year.
"This is the trophy (Open) that I dreamed of winning as a little boy and to have my mother there when I look back at this year that is the moment I will remember the most because she wasn't at any of the other major wins and for her to be there, it makes me a little emotional. It was just a fantastic moment and one I will cherish for the rest of my life."
He said the Masters is the next target: "Yeah the green jacket, that is the one that I am aiming for next year. That would complete the career grand slam. I think only five golfers in history have got it so it would be a huge thing to go for at 25 years of age. I am just trying to win as many majors as I can and see where that puts me at the end of my career and hopefully I've got a lot more years left to have opportunities to win things."
Bangor's Kelly Gallagher (29), a visually-impaired skier who won Britain's first ever Winter Paralympic gold medal at Sochi, had also been nominated.