Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs was the surprise winner of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award. He beat the hot favourite Formula One World Driver Champion Jenson Button.
It was feared that the glittering occasion which began in 1954 would be overshadowed this year by Simon Cowell's X Factor. However, the public still voted for their favourite sports personalities in huge numbers even if the viewing figures suffered on the night.
The award ceremony, held in Sheffield last night, was hosted by former tennis star and television sports presenter Sue Barker, ex-footballer and sports pundit Gary Linker and TV sports presenter and Formula One anchorman Jake Humphrey.
The World Diving Champion Tom Daley won the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year and Fabio Capello picked up Coach of the Year after England’s powerful World Cup qualifying campaign.
The Overseas Personality of the Year was awarded to Olympian Medallist Usain Bolt, the winner of three sprint Golds in Beijing and the Team of the Year went to England men’s cricket team, the award being received by Andrew Flintoff on behalf of the team.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Severiano Ballesteros via video link as he was not well enough to attend the award ceremony in person. The World Championship golfer was awarded the same accolade in 1997.
The Helen Rollason Award went to Major Phil Packer who received a standing ovation during his long walk up to the stage to collect his award. Phil Packer lost both legs while serving in Iraq. He raised £1.2m walking the London Marathon in 13 days. After being presented with his award, he challenged the audience of sports personalities to help his new charity called the British Inspiration Trust.
Doreen Adcock won the Unsung Hero Award for her work teaching over 13,000 people to swim.
The Special Award was presented to comedian Eddie Izzard for his extraordinary achievement of running 43 marathons in 51 days raising more than £300,000 for Sports Relief. The award was presented by winning Marathon runner Paula Radcliffe and James Cordin, the star of Gavin & Stacey.
Copyright Speakers Corner 2017