A total of 361,446 people voted for Tennis star Andy Murray to make him the fourth tennis player to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2015. He is also the fourth person to win the award twice, having won it previously in 2013.
The British No 1 Tennis star beat rugby league player Kevin Sinfield and Ennis-Hill to win the award at the ceremony held in SSE Arena, Belfast. Murray has been the top contender to win the award ever since he ended Great Britain’s 79 year wait to lift the Davis Cup.
Tyson Fury, who became the world heavyweight champion after defeating Wladimir Klitschkoo, came a distant fourth with 72,330 votes much ahead of Lewis Hamilton, Chris Froome, Mo Farah and others. Ever since Fury’s name was shortlisted, controversy engulfed SPOTY over his nomination because of Fury’s offensive remarks about homosexuals and women.
Fury though took the opportunity and apologised on stage. Mail Online quotes Fury saying: “I’ve said a lot of stuff in the past and none of it is with the intention to hurt anybody. It is all tongue in cheek and a bit of fun and games for me. If I have said anything in the past that has hurt anybody, I apologise to anybody that has been hurt. It has not been my intention to do that.”
If not everyone, but Fury, sure seems to have left an impression on the winner, Murray who in his acceptance speech had words of praise for the world heavyweight champion.
“Not everyone has to agree with what he [Tyson Fury] said but I do believe that he has the right to say it. That’s freedom of speech and people have the right to disagree with what he says as well. But his achievements — winning against Klitschko in Germany on points is almost impossible and hardly anyone gave him a chance of winning. He proved a lot of people wrong,” Murray said according to Mail Online report.
“I honestly didn’t expect to win because there have been so many great performances this year. I am a big boxing fan. I know what Tyson Fury did. It was an incredible achievement.”
Murray also hailed Jessica Ennis-Hill’s achievement, given the fact that she won world heptathlon gold only 13 months after giving birth to her son.
Other list of winners at the ceremony include:
Lifetime Achievement: AP McCoy
Team of the Year: GB Davis Cup winners
Coach of the Year: Michael O’Neill
Overseas SPOTY: Dan Carter
Young Personality of the Year: Ellie Downie
Helen Rollason award: Bailey Matthews
Unsung Hero award: Damien Lindsay