Birmingham: Tony McCoy became the first
jockey to be voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year,
receiving national recognition for riding more than 3,000
winners and triumphing in the Grand National steeplechase in
his 15th attempt.
The 36-year-old McCoy had won most major races in Britain
- including the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle and King
George VI Chase - but had 14 failed attempts to win the Grand
National until he rode Don`t Push It to victory in April.
"When I started off as a jockey I wanted to be champion
jockey in my mind, and I have been lucky enough to be champion
jockey for 15 years," McCoy said at the awards` ceremony in
Birmingham. "But the Grand National is the biggest horse race
in the world and everyone knows I had won all the other races,
and to finally achieve that ... it was just an unbelievable
The Northern Irishman - known as A.P. McCoy - topped the
public poll ahead of darts player Phil Taylor and world
heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis.
"He`s dominated racing like Tiger Woods dominated golf
and Roger Federer dominated tennis," jockey Ruby Walsh said of
There were no footballers on the 10-man shortlist at the
end of a year in which no English side reached the Champions
League semifinals and the national team had a disappointing
But former England captain David Beckham, his country`s
most capped outfield player, received the BBC`s lifetime
Watched by his wife and three sons, the 35-year-old
midfielder received the trophy from Bobby Charlton, the
73-year-old former Manchester United and England great who won
the same award himself two years ago.
"I have been lucky enough to have played for some of the
great teams - Preston, Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC
Milan and Los Angeles Galaxy - and of course playing for
England has been the highlight," Beckham said.
Rafael Nadal won the overseas sports personality prize at
the end of a year in which the 24-year-old Spaniard won the
French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.
Europe`s Ryder Cup players won the team of the year prize
after regaining the trophy from the United States in October.