For the first time in its 62-year history, the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards had arrived in Belfast along with a star-studded line up, following yet another momentous year in British sport. During a period in which Northern Irish sport in particular is on the rise, Belfast proved a fitting location for the sporting world to reflect upon the events of the last year which included a thrilling Rugby World Cup, a victorious Great British Davis Cup team and indeed the Euro 2016 qualification of each Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Wales and England.
There were no shortage of stars walking out on the red carpet at Titanic Quarter, and many local talents were present in what was an occasion which was a credit to the City of Belfast. Rory McIlroy, Dennis Taylor, Carl Frampton and Michael O’Neill were just a few Northern Irish names who spoke to the press prior to the event.
The ceremony proved mainly hiccup-free, except for co-host Gary Lineker accidentally cutting his hand on the trophy whilst live on-air. Prior to the night, major controversy surrounded Tyson Fury following the boxer’s sexist and homophobic comments shortly after he received a nomination for the award. The media were left dissatisfied however, as Fury refused to speak to the press, and subsequently the night was rightfully focused on the great sporting achievements of the last twelve months.
Andy Murray came out a clear winner following yet another successful year in which the Scotsman rose to World Number 2 for the first time in his career, and was hugely significant in Great Britain’s first Davis Cup triumph since 1936 – a triumph which Murray admitted made him more emotional that becoming Wimbledon champion back in 2013. Accumulating 361,446 votes, Murray was crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year for the second time in just three years.
Retired Rugby League star Kevin Sinfield was announced as runner-up to Murray with 278,353 votes, after Heptathlon champion and mother Jessica Ennis-Hill was awarded third place receiving 70,898 votes. The BBC were undoubtedly relieved as Tyson Fury did not receive an award, although did finish in fourth place with 72,330 votes.
For Belfast, it was a night to remember. It will undoubtedly act as a catalyst for further motivation to a small country which is currently striving in the world of sport – and 2016 promises to be no different.
Sports Editor and Deputy Head of News, Michael Jordan, caught up with several of the stars at the event.
alongside Queen’s Radio has so far proved a fantastic platform for writing articles, conducting
interviews, and most notably I was given the opportunity to work at the BBC Sports Personality of
the Year Awards 2015. In just my first year, I have already managed to interview figures such as
Jessica Ennis-Hill, Kevin Sinfield, Michael O’Neill and Sky Sports journalist Guillem Balague.
Latest posts by Michael Jordan (see all)
- IUAA Championships 2016 – Queen’s University, Belfast - May 2, 2016
- The Scoop reflects on “Sports Personality Of The Year”. - March 11, 2016