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Bradford City miss out on BBC team prize as Andy Murray wins main award
Andy Murray after being presented with the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award by Martina Navratilova in Florida
Andy Murray was duly crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year in Leeds tonight, capping an historic year which saw him become the first British man in 77 years to win the Wimbledon singles title.
Murray had started the evening as one of the shortest-price favourites in the award’s 60-year history, with best odds of 1-19 available from on-line bookmakers on the night of the ceremony at the city’s First Direct Arena.
Murray is the fourth tennis player to win the award and the first since Greg Rusedski pipped Tim Henman to victory in 1997. Virginia Wade and Ann Jones were also crowned in 1977 and 1969 respectively.
The 26-year-old Scot was not able to receive his award in person due to pre-season training commitments in Florida, and instead received it live on air from 18-times grand slam singles champion Martina Navratilova.
Murray joked: “I know I’m sometimes not the easiest person to support but I’ve had a lot of pressure on me for a long time and I’m just glad I finally managed to break through.
“No matter how excited I try to sound my voice still sounds incredibly boring but I’m actually incredibly excited right now. That’s just my voice – I’m sorry.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t be there tonight but I couldn’t have got in the position I’m in if I didn’t take my training and preparation extremely hard – I’ve been doing it for the last five or six years and I’ve dedicated probably the last ten years of my life to this.”
Wales and British and Irish Lions full back Leigh Halfpenny took second place after a year in which he was crowned player of the series in the Lions’ history-making Test series triumph over Australia, with 2010 winner Tony McCoy in third place.
Murray, who took 401,470 votes ahead of Halfpenny on 65,913 and McCoy on 57,854, is recovering from back surgery.
Mo Farah was in fourth place with 51,945, followed by Ben Ainslie, Chris Froome, Halifax's Hannah Cockroft, Christine Ohuruogu, Justin Rose and Ian Bell, who finished last of the ten-strong shortlist with 5,626 votes to his name.
Bradford City, who reached the Capital One Cup final as a League Two club last season, missed out on the Team of the Year award, failing to make the final three.
That went to the British and Irish Lions as a reward for their first Test series win in 16 years.
Warren Gatland’s men secured their historic triumph with a record-breaking 41-16 win over Australia in the third and final Test in Sydney, despite the controversial decision to drop Ireland’s Brian O’Driscoll.
And the Lions were awarded the accolade after an independent panel voted them top of a shortlist which also included Europe’s successful Solheim Cup-winning golf team and the all-conquering Team Sky cycling.
Warren Gatland, who led the Lions off the field, was named Coach of the Year.
Sebastian Vettel succeeded Usain Bolt as Overseas Sports Personality of the Year after a season which saw him claim a record fourth consecutive Formula One world title.
To mark the programme’s 60th year, Sir Bobby Charlton presented a special Diamond Achievement award to Sir Alex Ferguson, who called time on his 26 years in charge of Manchester United this summer.
Skeet shooter Amber Hill, 15, was Young Sports Personality of the Year. The award was presented by the Brownlee brothers, Alistair and Jonathan, from Bramhope.
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