English star Beth Mead named BBC Sports Personality of the year 2022 | BBC Sports Personality of the Year

Beth Mead has been crowned as BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 2022 after firing England to a history-making European Championship that propelled women’s football into the mainstream.

The 27-year-old saw off competition from Ben Stokes and Ronnie O’Sullivan to win the award and jumped onto the stage at MediaCity in Salford to accept the award. after seriously injuring his knee last month.

Mead said she was “speechless for once” and held back tears as she thanked her mother, who is undergoing treatment for cancer, and received a standing ovation from the sports stars in the crowd.

Mead said, “I definitely wouldn’t have done this without my dad, my mom and my whole family. Most of all, this is for women’s sports and for women’s sports moving in the right direction. Let’s keep pushing girls and making them real stuff.”

Mead had been the overwhelming favorite after her tournament-best six goals and five assists helped the Lionesses to a Wembley final, defeating the eight-time German champions. to secure their first major trophy – and England’s first since 1966.

The award completed a clean sweep for England’s women at the 69th Sports Personality of the Year awards. They also won team of the year and coach of the year for Sarina Wiegman – the first woman to take the award in its 23-year history.

It is the first time in half a century that the main prize has been won by women in consecutive years, after Emma Raducanu’s triumph in 2021. The last time it happened, a 21-year-old Princess Anne took the prize for winning gold in tournaments in 1971, followed a year later by pentathlon Mary Peters.

But it is also a bittersweet victory for Mead, who ruptured her ACL while playing for Arsenal last month – an injury that almost certainly rules her out of next year’s World Cup – and has had to deal with her mother’s battle with cancer.

Mead hinted at her personal struggles in an interview with Alex Scott earlier in the night when asked how her Lioness teammates had helped her overcome the issues, watched from the audience by her father and brother.

Gabby Logan (left) interviews the England women's football team and manager Sarina Wiegman
Gabby Logan (left) interviews the England women’s football team and manager Sarina Wiegman. Photo: David Davies/PA

“The girls are like a family away from home and when things at home haven’t been good, they’ve supported me so well,” she said, appearing briefly emotional.

The striker, whose mother briefly tried to encourage her to take up ballet before realizing her daughter was a much better footballer, later told reporters she would die happy to have won the Spoty.

Asked if she had any advice for any future Lionesses inspired to take up the fight this year, Mead said she played her best football “when I played for the love of the six-year-old who started”. She added: “So I would say enjoy every moment and don’t forget the reason why you play football.”

The award caps a year for the footballer, who has spoken openly about “hating” being left out of Team GB’s 2020 Olympic squad and, much more painfully, about her mother’s ongoing treatment for cancer.

Mead told the Guardian last month that she had spent the whole year “trying to put a smile on my mother’s face”. There is perhaps no more fitting way to end 2022 than with the coveted BBC trophy.

Seven of Mead’s Lioness teammates received the team of the year award, presented by Gary Lineker, Gabby Logan, Alex Scott and Clare Balding.

Jill Scott, fresh from being crowned queen of the jungle on I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here, said she hoped the team’s triumph had inspired plenty of girls to ask for football boots this Christmas, “and it will be classified as normal,” as she accepted their award.

Beth Mead celebrates with her England Women's footballers as she celebrates winning The BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award.
Beth Mead celebrates with her England Women’s football teammates who were fellow award winners as the Lionesses won Team of the Year. Photo: David Davies/PA

Stokes, who came second, might have claimed the coveted division had it not been for Mead’s golden years. Stokes struck England to T20 World Cup glory and took over as Test captain in April – a first year completed with England’s first away win in the Test series in Pakistan at 22 years.

Eve Muirhead, who won Olympic gold in women’s curling at the Beijing Winter Games, came third in the competition, which is decided by a direct public vote from a shortlist selected by a panel of experts.

One of the most emotional moments of the night came when Rob Burrow, the former England and Leeds Rhinos rugby league player, received a standing ovation as he was presented with the Helen Rollason Award for his work in raising awareness of his condition, Motor Neurone Disease .

On stage with his wife Lindsey Burrow, the former scrum-half said he was “totally overwhelmed” and had been “inspired to carry on” by his close friend and ex-teammate Kevin Sinfield, who held back tears as he received a special. Award for his superhuman fundraising efforts.

Sinfield, which has raised more than £7m. by running seven marathons in seven days in 2020 and 300 miles from Edinburgh to Manchester in one week last month, describing Burrow as “the most inspirational guy in Britain at the moment,” he added. : “He has inspired us all to become better friends.”

There had been some controversy even before the first trophy was handed out, with Lineker joining a chorus of criticism about the omission of Matt Fitzpatrick, 28, who won golf’s prestigious US Open in June.

Lineker tweeted two embarrassed emojis at the decision not to include Fitzpatrick on the shortlist, while two-time World Golf Club Championship winner Ian Poulter described the awards as a “continued farce and joke”.

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