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  Sunday, 10 December, 2000, 19:25 GMT
Sport stars turn out for Awards
Tim Foster and James Cracknell
Tim Foster and James Cracknell arrive at Television Centre
A Who's Who of British and international sport descended on BBC Television Centre on Sunday evening for the Sports Personality of the Year awards.

After 47 years the annual ceremony has become an institution and the prestige of the occasion was again reflected by a guest-list of the great, rather than the merely good.

On a damp evening a procession of greats - past and present - came to west London to celebrate the sporting year.

Jonathan Edwards
Jonathan Edwards: 1995 winner

In their limos and taxis a multitude of household names steadily arrived.

Heroes

Former winners like Henry Cooper, Stirling Moss and Mary Peters were there as were the stars of the modern age.

From the world of football came Alan Shearer, from rugby Denis Betts and Gavin Hastings, from athletics Sebastian Coe, Steve Backley and Kelly Holmes, from golf Lee Westwood.

Coxless four rowers Tim Foster and James Cracknell arrived together but Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent, the other half of the heroic quartet, were among the latecomers.

They had to make a dash from Soho Square in central London where they had made the draw for the FA Cup third round.

Champions

But the awards also celebrate the unsung heroes, champions in their own right but in sports out of the spotlight.

It has been a momentous sporting year in which Tiger Woods took golf to new heights, Pete Sampras confirmed his place as the greatest male tennis player ever and France came out on top in a glorious Euro 2000 tournament.

The best place to find British success was at the year's greatest show of all.

Eric Moussambani
Swimming "star" Eric Moussambani

The Sydney Olympics provided Team GB with 11 gold medals - the best haul since the 1920s.

Three months later the wizards of Oz could take pride of place at the awards.

Iain Percy and Shirley Robertson could probably still walk down a street unrecognised but the sailing gold medallists had earned their invitation and a seat among the elite.

And to prove that sporting stardom is not all about coming first there was a special invitation for Equatorial Guniea swimmer Eric Moussambani who also showed the Olympics was sometimes simply about taking part.


Beckham honour

The 2001 show

Winners profiled

Have your say

THE NIGHT IN PICTURES

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Links to more Sports Personality stories are at the foot of the page.


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