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Newz Forum: OTHER: BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 2004

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posted on Dec, 12 2004 @ 04:34 PM
Kelly Holmes is named BBC Sports Personality of the Year with an overwhelming victory in a public vote. The double Olympic gold medallist beat rowing's Matthew Pinsent, with cricketer Andrew Flintoff in third.

The honour capped a wonderful year for the athlete, who enjoyed a sensational six days at the Athens Olympics when she won gold in the 800m and 1500m. The 34-year-old had to cope with numerous near-misses down the years before finally claiming her glorious golden double in the summer. British running greats Steve Ovett, Sebastian Coe and Steve Cram all failed to win the 800m and 1500m double during their careers. Indeed, the only other Briton to manage the feat was Albert Hill in Antwerp in 1920. Holmes is only the third woman from any nation in Olympic history to do the double, after Tatyana Kazankina of the Soviet Union in 1976 and Svetlana Masterkova of Russia in 1996. Her achievements in Athens have also seen her become only the seventh British woman to ever win a track and field Olympic gold.

Pinsent did pick up a consolation when he and his coxless four crew were named Team of the Year for their victory at the Athens Olympics. In total there were eight awards on a star-studded night of sporting celebration at BBC Television Centre. Matthew Pinsent, James Cracknell, Ed Coode and Steve Williams edged out Canada to win gold in the coxless four. Pinsent paid credit to former team-mate Alex Partridge, who withdrew with a punctured lung, and coach Jurgen Grobler when he picked up the award. The victory, cheered on by thousands of British supporters from the stands at the rowing lake, was a dream ending for the crew after a difficult season marred by injury.

"We were a team of six and that eight one-hundreths of a second was down to Jurgen," he said.

The quartet held off competition from Arsenal, England's cricket team, the victorious European Ryder Cup team and the 4x100m relay gold medallists in a public vote. Pinsent, who claimed his fourth Olympic gold medal in Athens, accepted the award from Greece's Euro 2004-winning coach Otto Rehhagel

Ian Botham has been honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year show. The former England all-rounder, who won the Sports Personality Award in 1981, was recognised for services to cricket. In total Botham played 102 Tests for England, spanning 15 years from his debut in 1977. He was always a firm favourite with the fans for his exploits on and off the field, and when he retired he had 383 Test wickets and 5200 runs to his name. Domestically he starred for Somerset, Worcestershire and Durham - as well as Queensland down under - in a career that lasted from 1974 until 1993. He scored 19,399 runs and took 1,172 wickets in 402 matches. But bare statistics only tell half the tale, for it was Botham's renowned ability as match-winner and his colourful life off the field that made him hugely popular. As appearing regularly on the back pages, he also featured on the front with less savoury headlines down the years. He was suspended briefly in 1989 for smoking cannabis and memorably entitled his autobiography "Don't Tell Kath" as his long-suffering wife found out about most of his hell-raising antics on tour in the tabloids.

While playing he also started doing work for charity, famously walking from Land's End to John O'Groats in aid of Leukemia research in 1986. Botham also walked the Alps retracing Hannibal's steps with elephants and has raised more than £5m for the charity through eight long-distance walks, a past-time he has continued since his retirement. He was awarded an OBE in 1992, had a spell as a team captain on A Question of Sport, has appeared in Christmas pantos and is now a respected cricket commentator on television.

Other awards

Coach of the Year

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger won the Coach of the Year award after 12 months during which he guided his team to new heights in domestic football. The Frenchman oversaw a third Premiership-winning campaign at the club's helm as his side went through the entire season unbeaten. Wenger had previously been widely ridiculed when he claimed he thought such a feat was possible. But he had the last laugh as his team won 26 and drew 12 of their 38 games.

Overseas Personality of the Year

Roger Federer has swept almost all before him in the world of tennis since winning the 2005 Australian Open title. He has since become the first man since Mats Wilander in 1988 to win three Grand Slams in one season, adding Wimbledon and the US Open to his haul. In total he won 13 titles this season, an Open-era record eclipsing the 12 won by John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg. The Swiss star has also played with a smile and won the Overseas Personality of the Year award.

Young Personality of the Year

Scotland's Andrew Murray was named Young Sports Personality of the Year. The 17-year-old has made giant strides in the world of tennis in the past 12 months, during which time he won the US Open juniors title. Barcelona-based Murray also won a Futures event in Italy and has been tipped for greatness by former world number one Carlos Moya of Spain. Murray has set his sights on a place in the world's top 100 and aims to be in the top 50 by the end of 2005.

Helen Rollason Award

Kirsty Howard was presented with the Helen Rollason Award, named after the former BBC presenter and given for showing courage in adversity. Kirsty was chosen for the incredible courage and determination she has shown in raising money for other children.

Unsung Hero Award

Abdullah Ben-Kmayal won the Unsung Hero of the Year award for his dedication to Bethwin Football Club. "Ben" was asked by a group of children on his Peckham estate in London to enter them into a football tournament. Today, 14 years on, Bethwin comprises 16 teams with more than 350 children participating in various age groups. The 30-year-old has given up his job and spent his personal savings to keep Bethwin going but hopes to attract some long-term funding in the future.

BBC Sport


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