Tony McCoy wins BBC Sports Personality of the Year award

• Grand National winning jockey takes BBC prize
• Phil Taylor comes second, Jessica Ennis third

Tony McCoy last night became the first jockey to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award in its 57-year history. The bookies' favourite won in a landslide, polling 41% of the votes from a staggering 293,152 telephone calls. The jumps jockey, who holds the record for most winners in a career, has been crowned champion of the jumps 15 times and has now achieved what Lester Piggott and Frankie Dettori never did.

McCoy, who this year fulfilled a career ambition by winning the Grand National, on Don't Push It, could not have looked more surprised to win.

"To win this award is very surreal," he said, having last week won the sports journalists' award. "I've got so many people to thank I don't know where to start. I work in a wonderful sport in horse racing, I know they've probably spent half the night voting for me, so thank you to them." That was a reference to the sport's drive to bolster his vote.

Phil "the Power" Taylor, the 15-times world darts champion, was second with 10.33% of the vote from 72,095 calls. Taylor said "that's the happiest I've ever been coming second" and went on to make a more serious point, that just being in the top three was a "first" for his sport. The world and European heptathlon champion, Jessica Ennis, was third for the second year in a row, polling just under 9% of votes. The heavyweight world champion boxer David Haye, absent from the ceremony with flu, received the lowest number of votes, 7,538.

David Beckham was, at 35, the youngest winner of the Lifetime Achievement award. The former England captain received a standing ovation that lasted for more than a minute.

"I'm obviously really humbled to receive an award for something I love doing and always have loved doing," said the footballer, who won six Premier League titles, two FA Cups and the Champions League with Manchester United and the Spanish League and Super Cup with Real Madrid.

"I've been lucky enough to have played with some of the great teams over the years – and of course playing for England has always been one of the highlights and biggest things of my career."

He thanked his "father figure" Sir Alex Ferguson – who broke his ban on talking to the BBC to record a message for his former charge – and dedicated his award to British troops in Afghanistan. In winning the award the man who has also played for Preston North End, Milan and the Los Angeles Galaxy followed such luminaries of the sports world as Ferguson, Martina Navratilova, Pele and Seve Ballesteros.


Anna Kessel in Birmingham

The GuardianTramp

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