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  Thursday, 29 November, 2001, 17:24 GMT
Story behind the trophy
Sports Review presenters Gary Lineker, Steve Rider and Sue Barker with the trophy
The Sports Review team with the famous trophy
Click here for the full list of Sports Personality of the Year winners

By BBC Sport Online's Lewis Wiltshire

By today's standards, it did not cost very much when it was first created.

But, three decades later, the trophy presented annually to the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year is now considered priceless.

That is because this silver-plated four-turret lens camera, which cost around 1,000 when it was created in the 1950s, has become part of British sporting folklore.

Along the way the trophy has found its way on to the mantelpieces of, among others, Jim Laker, Stirling Moss, Bobby Moore, Ian Botham and Lennox Lewis.

They are flabbergasted when they get it
Chris White
BBC studio manager

Chris White, senior sports studio manager at the BBC, has worked on 10 Sports Review of the Year programmes.

He told BBC Sport Online a little about the history of the trophy itself.

"It used to have one plinth on it but it's now got three, because over the years we just had to keep adding another plinth to put little shields on.

"So it's now probably about six to eight inches taller than it was originally." he said.

The trophy presented to this year's winner will be the original which was given to the first winner, athlete Chris Chataway, in 1954.

But, since 1981, there has been a replica.

Original features

That was the year Ian Botham won and, because the cricketer was in Australia for the winter, an identical trophy had to be on hand Down Under as the votes came in.

"So now we have two", said White.

"The original one is always there on the night, and you can't tell the difference unless you rub your hand on the bottom because the original one has a hole there!"

Winners keep the original trophy for around eight or nine months, before the BBC collects it to prepare for the next show.

The Sports Personality of the Year award
The trophy is taller than when it started

Perhaps surprisingly, the trophy has never been lost or come back damaged.

It is nevertheless given a polish and a clean and on the night is presented to that year's winner. But they do not take it with them immediately.

Instead their name has to be engraved on - the Sports Review team never like to put the name on ahead of their show even when they know who has won.

That can lead to problems, such as in 1999 when Muhammad Ali was given the Sports Personality of the Century prize.

The former heavyweight boxing champion was returning to America the following morning and wanted to take his trophy with him.

So a quick dash to the engravers as soon as they opened on Monday was necessary!

Normally there is a bit more time to spare and the award is engraved before Christmas.

"It will be delivered to them, deliberately, just before Christmas", said White.


"It's one of these strange things where a lot of people actually want it to put on their Christmas table."

Senior sports studio manager White is always enjoys watching the reaction of the winner.

He said: "You've only got to go back to Steve Redgrave's speech last year. He was absolutely overwhelmed that he'd won this thing.

"Even though he'd won five gold medals he saw it as the pinnacle.

"He said he'd been coming to Sports Review of the Year for many years and now he'd won it. They are flabbergasted when they get it, which is a nice reaction after all these years of the programme."

The winners

1954: Chris Chataway

1955: Gordon Pirie

1956: Jim Laker

1957: Dai Rees

1958: Ian Black

1959: John Surtees

1960: David Broome

1961: Stirling Moss

1962: Anita Lonsbrough

1963: Dorothy Hyman

1964: Mary Rand

1965: Tommy Simpson

1966: Bobby Moore

1967: Henry Cooper

1968: David Hemery

1969: Ann Jones

1970: Henry Cooper

1971: Princess Anne

1972: Mary Peters

1973: Jackie Stewart

1974: Brendan Foster

1975: David Steele

1976: John Curry

1977: Virginia Wade

1978: Steve Ovett

1979: Sebastian Coe

1980: Robin Cousins

1981: Ian Botham

1982: Daley Thompson

1983: Steve Cram

1984: Torvill and Dean

1985: Barry McGuigan

1986: Nigel Mansell

1987: Fatima Whitbread

1988: Steve Davis

1989: Nick Faldo

1990: Paul Gascoigne

1991: Liz McColgan

1992: Nigel Mansell

1993: Linford Christie

1994: Damon Hill

1995: Jonathan Edwards

1996: Damon Hill

1997: Greg Rusedski

1998: Michael Owen

1999: Lennox Lewis

2000: Steve Redgrave

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Beckham honour

The 2001 show

Winners profiled

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