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Page last updated at 18:45 GMT, Friday, 12 December 2008

Cavanagh gets BBC Sport NI award

All Star, Tyrone and Ireland International Rules captain Sean Cavanagh is this year's BBC Northern Ireland Sports Personality of the Year

Tyrone All Star and Ireland captain Sean Cavanagh has been named the BBC Northern Ireland Sports Personality of the Year for 2008.

The Moy man led Tyrone to All-Ireland glory in September and then captained his country to an International Rules series victory in Australia in October.

"It has been a perfect year for me and Tyrone," said Sean who was also named the Gaelic footballer of the year.

Cavanagh was named the Northern Ireland winner by a panel of judges.

They included BBC representatives Shane Glynn (Editor Sport), Mike Edgar (Head of Entertainment), Jerome Quinn, Margaret O'Hare and Jim Stokes, plus Dr Aiden Hamill, former member of NI Sports Council and Trish McFarland, Senior Lecturer in Sports Studies at the UUJ.

The panel had a difficult task to pick a winner from a list of contenders which included Paddy Barnes, Graeme McDowell, Kyle McCallan, Madeline Perry, Rory McIlroy, Tony McCoy and Wendy Houvenhagel.

Shane Glynn said: "We had an excellent debate about the merits of all of the contenders and Sean came out on top.

"He reached the pinnacle in his sport with a series of memorable and inspirational performances which culminated in Tyrone's thrilling Sam Maguire success and the Ireland victory in Australia."

Picking up the award, Sean said: "When you are being compared with recent winners like Darren Clarke and David Healy, it speaks volumes about how far Gaelic games have come in recent years. It is certainly a special moment in my career."

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards, live from Liverpool's Echo Arena, are on BBC One this Sunday, 14 December from 1900 GMT.



see also
Cavanagh savours Ireland triumph
31 Oct 08 |  Gaelic Games
Cavanagh to captain rules squad
29 Sep 08 |  Gaelic Games
Cavanagh named player of the year
17 Oct 08 |  Gaelic Games


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