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McCoy wins sports personality crown

Tony McCoy has been crowned BBC Sports Personality Of The Year - the first person in racing to gain the nation's vote - at the climax of the televised annual review at Birmingham's LG Arena.

Darts legend Phil Taylor finished runner-up in the prestigious awards ceremony, while heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis was third.

McCoy has ridden more than 3,000 winners and has claimed just about every big race in the calendar, including the Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle and King George VI Chase, and landed his first victory in the John Smith's Grand National on Don't Push It in April.

It was a triumph that saw McCoy, 36, allow his emotionless guise to slip following so many agonising failures in the world's most famous race as he waved his whip to the crowd in sheer delight at the relief of ending his hoodoo.

The 15-times champion jockey told viewers and a packed arena full of sports stars: "This is an unbelievable feeling to be standing in front of so many amazing sports people - so many people who I look up to. To win this award is very surreal.

"I work in a wonderful sport of horse racing and I'd like to thank every one of those (people) because I know that most of the (racing) public spent most of the night voting for me.

"Without Jonjo O'Neill (trainer of Don't Push It) I wouldn't be standing here because I definitely wouldn't have won the Grand National without him. To win it for JP and Norah McManus was an unbelievable feeling because I knew they wanted to win it as much as I did.

"To my wife, Chanelle, and my mother and father, my brothers and sisters, all the other lads in the weighing room who I work with every day, and I know I drive mad, thanks to them.

"Even more amazing than winning this trophy is my daughter, Eve, who is three. I know she's going to be watching and I just want to say how amazing she is."

Success at the country's premier awards ceremony will be seen by the racing industry as the ultimate recognition for a career in which McCoy has rewritten the record books time and again ever since he became champion jockey for the first time in the 1995-96 season.

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