Golfer Rory McIlroy, the winner of two Majors in 2014 including the Open Championship, was named as the 65th winner of the SJA’s Sportsman of the Year award.
The Team of the Year award went to Katy Mclean, Emily Scarratt, Maggie Alphonsi and the rest of the England women’s World Cup-winning rugby squad, with McIlroy and his Ryder Cup teammates missing out.
Jo Pavey, the European 10,000 metres champion at the age of 40, was voted by the SJA’s members as their Sportswoman of the Year.
Sponsored by The National Lottery, the awards were announced at a gala ceremony held in central London and attended by nearly 400 celebrity guests from sport, politics and the media.
The National Lottery is celebrating 20 years of providing medal-winning funding – in total, 633 Olympic and Paralympic medals have been won by Lottery-backed British competitors since Lottery funding to sport began.
The National Lottery made its own Spirit of Sport Award to a winner of two Olympic gold medals, Dame Kelly Holmes, for her work with her charitable foundation since retiring from the track.
And Sir Michael Parkinson made a special presentation to Sir Chris Hoy to mark the Scottish cyclist’s career achievements, including six Olympic golds and 11 world titles.
The SJA’s British Sports Awards are determined by the votes of the Association’s members – nearly a thousand sports writers, editors, photographers and broadcasters.
Other award-winners at the SJA awards lunch, staged at the Grand Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden, were the Yorkshire organisers of the Grand Depart for the Tour de France, who took the BT Sport-sponsored JL Manning Award for services off the field of play.
The SJA recognised burgeoning new talents with three separate prizes: Fragapane, who has celebrated her 17th birthday since the Glasgow Games, received the SJA Committee Award, while the International Newcomer Award went to England cricketer Moeen Ali following his debut season, and the Pat Besford Trophy for the outstanding performance of the year went to world record-breaking swimmer Adam Peaty.
Discus thrower Dan Greaves and skier Kelly Gallagher, with her guide Charlotte Evans, won our Bill McGowran Trophy for achievement in Paralympic sport.
But the show-stopping award presentation was surely that made by the SJA chairman, David Walker.
For the prize in his gift, the Daily Mirror’s sports editor chose to present the Chairman’s Award to Lou Macari, Neil Baldwin and screenwriter Peter Bowker, who brought to life Macari and Baldwin’s time together at Stoke City in the acclaimed and uplifting BBC TV drama Marvellous, starring Toby Jones.
Full list of winners at the 2014 SJA British Sports Awards, sponsored by The National Lottery:
- Sportswoman of the Year: Jo Pavey (Athletics)
- Team of the Year: England women rugby
- Sportsman of the Year: Rory McIlroy (Golf)
- The National Lottery Spirit of Sport Award: Dame Kelly Holmes
- SJA President’s Award: Sir Chris Hoy
- BT Sport JL Manning Award for services off the field of play: Welcome to Yorkshire and organisers of the Tour de France Grand Depart
- SJA Committee Award: Claudia Fragapane (Gymnastics)
- SJA Bill McGowran Trophy for achievement in Paralympic sport: Dan Greaves (Athletics); Kelly Gallagher with Charlotte Evans (Skiing)
- SJA Peter Wilson Trophy for international newcomer: Moeen Ali (Cricket)
- SJA Chairman’s Award: Lou Macari, Neil Baldwin and Peter Bowker
- SJA Pat Besford Award for outstanding performance of the year: Adam Peaty (Swimming)