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Big night for women’s sport at BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards

England’s Euro 2022 hero Beth Mead claims the top award

Beth Mead named BBC Sports Personality of the Year© PA

Sports deskPA Media

Beth Mead has capped an incredible year by being voted the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year for 2022.

The 27-year-old played a crucial part in England’s triumph at Euro 2022, scoring six goals and providing five assists. She was also chosen as UEFA’s player of the tournament.

She won the BBC public poll ahead of England Test cricket captain Ben Stokes and Olympic curling champion Eve Muirhead. The other nominees on the six-person shortlist were gymnast Jessica Gadirova, 1500 metres world champion Jake Wightman and seven-time world snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Mead said: “I’m incredibly honoured to win this award.

“I wouldn’t have done it without those girls over there and the team that have backed me. Yes, I’ve got this accolade, I did my job, I scored a few goals but I wouldn’t have done it without them.

“And I certainly wouldn’t have done it without my mum, my dad and all my family.

“But most of all, this is for women’s sport, and for women’s sport heading in the right direction. So let’s keep pushing girls and let’s keep doing the right thing.”

Her success makes her the 13th individual female winner of the award, with Jayne Torvill also claiming it as part of her ice dance partnership with Christopher Dean in 1984. She is also only the sixth footballer to win the award in its 68-year history.

Mead’s success in 2022 was all the more remarkable given she was left out of the Great Britain squad for the Tokyo Olympics last year.

She now faces a race to be fit for next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand after rupturing her anterior cruciate ligament while playing for Arsenal last month.

Her victory completed a hat-trick of awards for the Lionesses on the night, as the squad were voted Team of the Year for their Euros triumph with Sarina Wiegman collecting the Coach of the Year award.

Argentina’s World Cup-winning captain Lionel Messi had been named World Sport Star of the Year on Monday, with Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt having been chosen as this year’s recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Rob Burrow was the recipient of the Helen Rollason Award for his work in raising awareness of motor neurone disease, a condition he was diagnosed with in 2019.

He received the award alongside his former Leeds Rhinos team-mate Kevin Sinfield, who has raised more than £7million for MND research and awareness.

Gadirova claimed the Young Sports Personality of the Year prize after she won floor gold at the World Gymnastics Championships earlier this year.

The 18-year-old was also part of the GB team which won silver at the same event, where she also claimed all-around bronze. She won the Young Personality award ahead of skateboarder Sky Brown and diver Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix.

Mike Alden, who was diagnosed with brittle bone disease at the age of four but went on to play football and now coaches in Bristol, won the Unsung Hero award.


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