16 December 2019

Ben Stokes crowned 2019 BBC Sports Personality of the Year ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Dina Asher-Smith

England cricket star Ben Stokes has been crowned the 2019 BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

The 28-year-old took the award ahead of six-time formula one world title winner Lewis Hamilton and 200m world champion Dina Asher-Smith.

Stokes was instrumental in his country's ICC Cricket World Cup triumph in the summer as the nation witnessed a thrilling final that ended with England winning in a super over after the initial match had been tied.

"First of all, I think congratulations to all the nominees," Stokes said after picking up the trophy. "What you've managed to achieve as individuals and do for your sport is simply sensational, so well done to you too.

"There's so many people you feel you have to thank when you're up here. It's an individual award, but I play a team sport and one of the great things about that is you get to share special moments with those team-mates, coaches and without that effort you put in, I wouldn't be up here receiving this award so thank you so much.

"Two years ago was a tough time for me in my life and I've had so many people help me through that. My fantastic manager and friend Neil Fairbrother, you're more than an agent, you're an incredible man. I don't know how you've put up with Andrew Flintoff and me, you and [Fairbrother's wife] Audrey, you're incredible people.

"My parents, they live on the other side of the world, they don't get to share moments like this, the World Cup and be there with me, but the time you dedicated to me growing up, the selflessness to get me to training camps and around the country, this is for you. I love you so much, thank you."

As well as his heroics in the summer, the all-rounder then stole the show again later on in the year in the third Ashes test at Headingley.

He hit an outstanding 135 not out to beat Australia and keep England's dwindling hopes of a series victory alive.

Yet Stokes, humble in his acceptance of the award, continued to thank the members of his family.

"To my amazing wife, Clare," he said. "Family to me is more important than what I do for a living. It puts perspective on everything, after the good and bad days they are there for me no matter what. My two kids too, they are awesome I love you so much.

"Back to Clare, you're a rock. You always have been. You always will be. I wish you could come here and share it with me, you deserve it just as much. I love you so much and I'm so proud to call you my wife.

"I'm guessing I should leave it there."

As well as being individually recognised for his achievements, Stokes was also a part of the England side which took home the Team of the Year prize at the ceremony in Aberdeen.

And there was more cricketing success on the night as the moment of 2019 went to Jos Buttler breaking the stumps to crown England World Cup winners.

The Coach of the Year honour went to John Blackie, who has guided world champion Asher-Smith from eight years-old to gold at the World Athletics Championships in Doha.

The 24-year-old 200m world title holder presented Blackie with the award and added some words of gratitude to her coach.

She said: "John deserves this so much. I found out on Wednesday and I cried on the train. "He is so inspirational and so selfless."

Asher-Smith then went on to describe him as a 'second dad'.

Elsewhere, the Lifetime Achievement Award went to Paralympic champion Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.

A British sporting legend, Grey-Thompson won a total of 16 Paralympic medals, five world titles and six London marathons.

Other awards dished out on the night included the World Sport Star of the Year, which went to Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge for his momentous feat of becoming the first human in history to run a sub two-hour marathon.

Former Scotland rugby international Dodie Weir received the Helen Rollason award. 

The athlete was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2017 and has raised millions for the Dodie Weir foundation in a bid to find a cure for MND.

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