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Jockey McCoy 'humbled' by Sports Personality award

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Jockey AP McCoy wins BBC Sports Personality of the Year

By Francis Keogh
BBC Sport at the LG Arena, Birmingham

Tony McCoy said he felt humbled after his landslide victory in the 2010 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

McCoy, who won the Grand National on Don't Push It in April, is the first jockey to win the honour.

"It is a wonderful thing for horse racing, as well as myself. I can't describe how I feel," said the 36-year-old Northern Irishman.

McCoy secured nearly 42% of the public vote, with darts star Phil Taylor second and athlete Jessica Ennis third.

Known widely by his initials AP for Anthony Peter, McCoy paid tribute to the other shortlisted contenders, including his compatriot and US Open golf winner Graeme McDowell, who finished fifth in the poll.

Without Jonjo and JP McManus , I certainly wouldn't be standing here

Tony McCoy

"When I received my award I was disappointed that I forgot to mention the nine other nominees, who are all amazing in their sports," said County Antrim-born McCoy, who has been champion jockey 15 times.

"Graeme was the first European to win a US Open in 40 years and holed the winning putt in the Ryder Cup. He's one of the best golfers in the world, along with Lee Westwood.

"I can't describe how humbled I felt to be standing in front of so many amazing sportspeople."

Westwood came fourth in the public vote, with diver Tom Daley sixth ahead of cyclist Mark Cavendish, winter Olympian Amy Williams, cricketer Graeme Swann and boxer David Haye.

McCoy modestly insisted he did not deserve to win the honour as much as two jockeys who missed out in the past - the Northern Irishman's boyhood hero Lester Piggott and Frankie Dettori.

"Lester and Frankie are the greatest ambassadors the sport has ever had and I would never for one moment put myself in the same category as them," said McCoy.

Going into 2010, McCoy had won every major horse race, including the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle and Champion Chase, but the world's most famous race - the Grand National - had eluded him.

He even had to be persuaded by trainer Jonjo O'Neill to ride Don't Push It, who is owned by JP McManus. That duo had also never won the famous Aintree race before.

"Without Jonjo and JP, I certainly wouldn't be standing here," added McCoy. "I'm lucky to be working for someone who was a champion jockey in his own right and is a wonderful trainer; and JP McManus is the greatest supporter jump racing has.

"To be able to ride in his colours is the greatest privilege that I've ever had as a jockey."

During his 21 years as a jockey, McCoy has ridden in over 13,000 races, and been the winner on more than 3,300 occasions.

Tony McCoy and his wife Chanelle
McCoy and his wife Chanelle in Birmingham

He has broken a series of records, and broken many bones along the way in the demanding world of jump racing.

During his career he has fallen almost 700 times, breaking his back, shoulder blades, collarbones, ribs, ankles, cheekbones, a wrist, and a leg in the process.

McCoy travels an estimated 75,000 miles annually by car and had planned to race at Carlisle on Sunday, fly to Birmingham for the BBC event, and then ride in Wales at Ffos Las on Monday until the bad weather intervened.

Riding at nearly two stone below his natural weight, McCoy spends up to 12 hours a week sweating in baths and saunas to ensure he reaches the correct weight.

"No matter how successful you feel you are in any sport or how good everyone else thinks you are, there will always be someone better.

"That is something I think about every day. However much I'm lucky enough to keep winning, I know someone is going to win more than me. That's what motivates me, and I love doing what I do."

McCoy was supported by a concerted campaign by the horse racing industry to encourage people to vote for him and several races were renamed in his honour.

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"Racing is a wonderful sport in lots of ways. Socially, it is an amazing day out," he said. "It brings a lot of people together and hopefully winning this award will encourage more people to watch our sport.

"Racing has meant so much to me in my life and career that if it has a positive effect for the sport, I would be very proud of that."

AP McCoy

Sports Personality 2010 - AP McCoy



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see also
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Sports Personality 2010 - AP McCoy
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McCoy's Christmas Day diet
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The Unreal McCoy
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McCoy savours 'dream' Aintree win
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Europe win Team of the Year award
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Nadal receives BBC Overseas award
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BBC honours F1 team boss Williams
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Diver Daley wins third BBC award
19 Dec 10 |  Sports Personality
Basketball coach wins BBC award
19 Dec 10 |  Sports Personality


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