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Murray proud to take award

Andy Murray said he was proud to be able to add to his name to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year roll of honour after being awarded the 2013 honour by an unprecedented margin in Leeds on Sunday night.

Murrray polled 401,470 of the votes cast by the British public ahead of British Lions full-back Leigh Halfpenny who finished second with 65,913 votes, and racing great and 2010 winner Tony McCoy in third on 57,854.

Murray said: "It's very nice and I'm glad I won it because when you look at a lot of the names on the trophy there are some pretty special athletes on there, so I'm proud to have won.

"Wimbledon is something I've worked for for a lot of years and dedicated a lot of time towards, and something like this is an acknowledgement of your achievements from the British public."

McCoy hailed Murrray's victory, saying it would have been an "injustice" if the Scot had not won the award in a year in which he became the first British man in 76 years to win Wimbledon.

McCoy, who rode his 4,000th career winner at Towcester in 2013, said: "It wouldn't have been right for anyone else to win Sports Personality of the Year because he's the first tennis player in all that time to win Wimbledon and with all the pressure that was on him.

"He's probably playing in an era where in Nadal, Federer and Djokovic we have three of the best tennis players in the game so to win Wimbledon is a phenomenal achievement and it would have been a total injustice."

Halfpenny capped a fine night for the Lions by finishing second. The Lions also won the team award and Warren Gatland the Coach of the Year award for masterminding the crucial third and final Test win over Australia in Sydney.

Halfpenny said: "I can't believe it to be honest. Just to be nominated was a huge honour and I felt hugely privileged to be here tonight in the company of so many amazing sports stars. To receive the award from Sir Bradley Wiggins and Sir Alex Ferguson was amazing."

Sebastien Vettel's history-making year in Formula One was noted as he received the Overseas Sports Personality award, while skeet shooter Amber Hill was crowned Young Sports Personality after a year in which she won a senior World Cup at the age of just 15.

Sir Alex Ferguson was presented with a special Diamond Achievement award by Sir Bobby Charlton, while the Helen Rollason Award was posthumously awarded to the late Anne Williams for her tireless campaigning for a new inquest for her son Kevin and other victims of the Hillsborough disaster.

The Unsung Hero award was presented to Joe and Maggie Forber for their work with young basketball players at the Amaechi Basketball Centre in Manchester.


From Belfast Telegraph