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 Tuesday, 31 December, 2002, 15:19 GMT
Congratulate Mark Hughes
Wales football manager Mark Hughes has been voted the BBC Wales Sports Personality of 2002.

Send us your tributes to the man who has sparked a revival in Welsh football.


The public voted overwhelmingly for Mark Hughes as their Welsh sports personality of the year.

Wales went unbeaten throughout 2002 under Hughes' astute guidance - beating Italy and Germany along the way.

Do you think he is a worthy winner of the award?

Cyclist Nicole Cooke was runner-up, with Phillip Price coming third for the second successive year.

E-mail your congratulations to the Welsh sporting heroes of 2002.


This debate is now closed. See below for a selection of your emails.


I've always admired a never-say-die attitude and Mark Hughes has that in abundance. Skill allied to aggression is a powerful combination and rarely expressed more forcibly than through Mark Hughes. He deserves every accolade.
David Gee, USA

Well done to Mark Hughes. He's had a fantastic career as a player and his start to his management career has been unbelievable. However, the teams in the group have been playing pretty poorly and Wales have been playing out of their skin. It's not going to last, they're going to crash and burn.
Michael Kavanagh, Scotland

I've lived in W6les for 16 years and this is the first time there has been any belief or spirit amongst Welsh football fans, and it is entirely down to Mark Hughes - as is Craig Bellamy's improvement over the past few seasons.
Leon Vincent, Wales

The success of the team has not only lifted Welsh football fans, but the whole nation

Al, Cymru

Well done Mark Hughes for being a great manager and unearthing Welsh talent among the foreign legion of the English divisions. Hughes is definitely one for the future!!
Paul, England

With regard John Davies's comments, why not Mark Hughes? His achievements since taking over the Welsh job have been remarkable. The success of the team has not only lifted Welsh football fans, but the whole nation.

It's only right that Mark is recognised for his achievements over the last year. While I respect all the other nominees, you've got to remember that Phil Price's only achievement last year was a match play win in the Ryder Cup.
Al, Cymru

Mark Hughes you are a legend. You deserve this, you've revitalised Welsh football. Let's hope you can steer us to Euro 2004 and put football at the top of the agenda in Wales!
Stephen Matthias, WALES

Mark Hughes thoroughly deserves this award following his success with the men's Welsh football team. However, Dei Hughes' comments reflect poorly on Wales as a sporting nation.

It is possible that, as a woman, Nicole Cook would have to establish World peace and eradicate poverty before achieving recognition above a footballer.

Congratulations to Mark Hughes but let's make sure we don't suffocate under one sport and we give our best female athletes, coaches and managers our full-blooded Welsh support.
Amanda Bennett, Welsh born

Mark Hughes has been my sporting hero since I have started watching football

Matthew Brown, UK

Congratulations to Mark Hughes his career has been fantastic and his recent form as Wales boss caps off a marvellous career.

However, I don't think the Welsh should be overconfident about qualifying for the World Cup. The other teams have been pretty poor so far and Wales have exceeded themselves but I don't think it will last.
Michael, Scotland

Well done Sparky, if only you were English.
Jon, England

Mark Hughes has been my sporting hero since I have started watching football. At Manchester United he was electric and I am so pleased that management has worked out for him. Wales make the most of your manager, I would not be surprised if he comes to Man Utd one day!
Matthew Brown, UK

Well done Sparky! Keep up the good work with the Wales team, good luck in qualifying for the World Cup as well! All the best!
Gav, England

Get in Sparky lad!
Livzy, Bangor Aye, Cymru

That win in Cardiff sealed it. Well deserved, and even more deserved was the new contract he's just signed. Look out Portugal Hughes' Barmy Army is on the march with pride and passion.
Gareth, England

Nicole Cooke will have to triumph in the senior World Champs and win the Tour de France before she has a chance against a Welsh footballer

Dei Huws, Wales

Mark Hughes' success as Wales manager has been hard earned over the last few years and well deserved. Let's not forget his man-of-the-match performance for Blackburn in the Worthington Cup final as well. An inspiration on and off the field!!
Jim, Wales

It was a bad decision by the public to give Mark the top prize because we had Commonwealth champions in 2002, people who actually achieved their goal, many of whom were barely mentioned. For me, it should have been given to Phil Price.
John Davies, Wales

Congratulations to Mark Hughes on winning the sports personality of the year, well deserved and this year I would agree that he was clearly the pick of the bunch. My only concern is the public vote format. I suspect that footballers will always either win or will have a huge bias in the vote.

Nicole Cooke will have to triumph in the senior World Champs and probably win the Tour de France for women before she has a chance against a Welsh footballer who scores the deciding goal against some eastern European country to ensure qualification. Which, of course, under Sparky, I have every confidence we will do! Well done Mr Hughes.
Dei Huws, Wales

Congratulations you deserved to win you have put Welsh football back on the map. Keep up the good work.
Yvonne Price, Wales

Well done Mark, you've made us all proud

Michael Dee, Wales

Well done Mr Hughes. A well earned award and I've really enjoyed following the matches on the internet. Never mind going to Old Trafford. After doing all you can with the Wales football team can you do something for the rugby team?
Denis Bowen, USA

Thank you so much Sparky for the exceptional work you have done to transfer our national team into a team with serious hope of qualifying for a major tournament.
Steve, Wales

Well done Mark, you've made us all proud. It's about time you won this award it was long overdue. And just a little thank you from all the Welsh fans, who showed England how it's meant to be when you travel abroad! Nice one boys!
Michael Dee, Wales

Congratulations Mr Hughes! No-one deserved this accolade more. Never before have I been so proud to support the Welsh football team with them having good prospects for the future. The Welsh are proud of the hard work you and your team have done these past few years.
Stephen Ash, Wales

Who knows what future will bring? The only real certainty about football is its uncertainty and you always be the 'Sparky' in football.
Joseph Karkam, Indonesia

Mark Hughes, you are a very worthy winner of this award!

David Prettyjohns, England

Well done Mark, you deserved it! During the three years you've been in charge you've transformed not only the team, but also the hopes of a nation! You've created a Welsh football renaissance and the whole nation is behind you in our dream to qualify for Euro 2004.

If we do, we'll be there supporting you all the way. Doesn't it make you feel proud to be Welsh - Cymru am byth!
Richard Jarvis, Cymru

We've always seemed to be feeling the after effects of that devastating penalty miss in 1994, but now Mark Hughes looks set to blow that bitter memory out of the water. The team's record speaks for itself and Mark Hughes thoroughly deserves this award.
Craig Williams, Wales

Rhys Davies was certainly a good choice for the junior award. I saw him play golf a couple of times in Scotland this year and he was most impressive - definitely a future star.
Euan Forbes, Scotland

Well done Mark Hughes on winning the Welsh Sports Personality 2002 Award. As a Welshman, it has been a brilliant year in the footballing world for me, internationally, and a great honour to be a Welshman living in England! A big thank you to Mark, for everything he's done in forming such a brilliant side.

Good luck in qualifying for the Euro 2004 championships. It has been an amazing year and the Welsh Team have deserved "Team of the Year" award. Mark Hughes, you are a very worthy winner of this award!
David Prettyjohns, England

Mark Hughes deserves every bit of acclaim that comes his way

Kev, Manchester, England

Well done, Mark! He truly deserves it. I hope one day he can return to Old Trafford to succeed with more glories.
Freddie Fung, Hong Kong

Mark Hughes is always the best. He is the best footballer on earth; with skill and everything.
Kam Yin Li, USA

Mark Hughes deserves every bit of acclaim that comes his way, not only was he a great footballer (and my boyhood hero) but he's proving to be an exceptional manager at international level. Who knows maybe one day he could be in the hot seat at his spiritual home Old Trafford.
Kev, Manchester, England

A worthy winner if ever there was one. Sparky has transformed Welsh football and, without doubt, has the whole nation behind him. It seems inconceivable that a home game against Azerbaijan could express so much interest, but that is the sort of impact that Hughes has had on everybody.

As it stands however, we have achieved nothing and it is of paramount importance that everyone in Wales keeps their feet on the ground. One game at a time, come on boys, you can do it!
Martin, Wales

'Sparky' has lived up to his name this year, putting the spark back into Welsh football

Martin Stanton, Cardiff, Wales

I was glad to see that the result was decided by the Welsh public and not rugby-biased BBC Wales. I doubt that your friends at the WRU are too happy this morning having seen the football team and their manager win three awards!!!
Matthew Hughes, Wales

No doubt he was the best choice there. What he has achieved this year, and hopefully next year, will reverberate down to grass-roots level and put Wales back on the sporting map.
Steve Godrich, UK

Congratulations Sparky, you've put Wales on the footballing map. You're a deserving winner of the award. You've influenced people to become successful. Those who doubt the team or underestimate us have paid the price. We're all going to Portugal...
Andrew, Wales

'Sparky' has lived up to his name this year, putting the spark back into Welsh football, along with pride, passion and commitment throughout the entire squad.

Mark has already done a remarkable job inspiring the squad to believe in themselves, as have the Welsh public. There's still a long way to go until Portugal 2004 but we are more than half way there. All of Wales are behind you and your squad for the rest of the campaign, and I'll see you in Faro!

Congratulations for giving Wales a terrific national squad which the Welsh nation is extremely proud, shown through the amount of nominations received for this award. Keep it up Sparky!
Martin Stanton, Cardiff, Wales

BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year 2002

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13 Jan 03 | Wales
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