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  Thursday, 28 November, 2002, 14:02 GMT
That winning feeling
Damon Hill with the BBC award
Damon Hill won the award in 1994 and 1996
From Chris Chataway to David Beckham, the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award boasts a fascinating roll call of winners.

The list, spanning 48 years, is a vivid illustration of how times have changed, and provides an insight into what makes a connection with the voting public.

Athletes have dominated the award, which is presented at the end of BBC TV's popular Sports Review of the Year show.

Track and field events have provided nearly a third of the recipients, with motor racing the next most popular field for winners.

Boxer Henry Cooper, along with Formula One aces Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill, are the only people to have lifted the famous trophy twice.

  Main award winners
by sport (1954-2001)
Athletics: 15
Motor racing: 7
Football: 4
Boxing: 4
Cricket: 3
Tennis: 3
Figure skating: 3
Golf: 2
Swimming: 2
Snooker: 1
Rowing: 1
Showjumping: 1
Cycling: 1
Horsemanship: 1

Glory at the Winter Olympics has led to figure skaters dancing away with the prize on three separate occasions - including the only joint award, to Torvill and Dean in 1984.

Sports ranging from snooker to cycling have provided the year's top personality.

Princess Anne was even honoured, in 1971, for her horsemanship in three-day eventing.

But no-one from the world of horse racing, or rugby union, has ever scooped the individual honour, although they have earned team awards.

The team prize demonstrates the changing fortunes in sport.

West Ham United have been finding life difficult at the foot of the Premiership this season.

But back in 1965, the Hammers were judged to be Britain's top team after winning the FA Cup.

Britain's showjumpers claimed the team honour in both 1979 and 1984, yet many people might struggle to name a current star in that sport.

Whatever happens, the men boast a better record than the women for the main award.

Before 2002, only 10 sportswomen had received the honour - the last being Scottish middle-distance runner Liz McColgan in 1991.

In-depth section on the big BBC awards

Radcliffe triumphs

Awards

Winners in profile

Have Your Say

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Links to more Sports Personality 2002 stories are at the foot of the page.


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