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Last Updated: Monday, 6 December 2004, 23:03 GMT
Grey Thompson scoops BBC honour
Tanni Grey-Thompson won the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year award for the third time
Paralympic athlete Tanni Grey Thompson has been voted the 2004 BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year.

The 35-year-old added to her eight Paralympic gold medals with another two at this year's Games in Athens to become Britain's greatest Paralympian.

Wales rugby captain Gareth Thomas was second, with swimmer David Davies third in the public voting from a shortlist of six Welsh sporting stars.

Glamorgan County Cricket Club won the team of the year award.

Grey Thompson took gold in the T53 100m and the T53 400m in her fifth Paralympics to reinforce her reputation has one of the world's leading disability sports stars.

A previous winner in 2000 and 1992, she now joins hurdler Colin Jackson, golfer Ian Woosnam and boxer Howard Winstone as a three-time winner of the BBC award.

After receiving her award from Wales First Minister Rhodri Morgan, Grey Thompson thanked her family and Bridgend and Cardiff Athletics Club.

Glenda Charles collects the award on behalf of her late husband from Wales football manager John Toshack
When I watched him play, I thought he was the best player I'd ever seen
John Toshack on John Charles

She then revealed she will not defend her Olympic titles in China in 2008.

"I've got another year left hopefully, but I'm not going to be in Beijing - definitely not."

Mr Morgan added: "She has put Wales on the map of world sport. In terms of women's sport and the Paralympics, there is no-one who has achieved as much as Tanni Grey Thompson.

"Thank you for what you have done for Wales."

To mark the 50th anniversary of the award, John Charles was voted the nation's favourite sporting hero over the past half century.

The late Wales, Leeds United and Juventus striker - who never won the Sports Personality title despite a glittering career - beat fellow greats Grey-Thompson, Colin Jackson, Lynn Davies and Gareth Edwards to the award.

"I used to marvel at him," said Wales manager John Toshack, who championed Charles for the award. "I thought he was the greatest footballer I've ever seen in my life."

Charles' widow, Glenda, collected the honour on behalf of her husband at the ceremony at St David's Hall in Cardiff.

Glamorgan captain Robert Croft celebrates winning the Totesport title with Matthew Maynard
Robert Croft celebrates winning the Totesport title with Matthew Maynard
Glamorgan's hugely successful season on the cricket field was recognised with the team award.

John Derrick's side won the one-day National League title for the third time in 11 years and won promotion to Division One of the County Championship.

Those success brought an international call-up for all-rounder Alex Wharf, who made an immediate impact on his England debut by dismissing India's Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman in his first three overs.

The Carwyn James Junior Awards went to Cardiff cyclist Geraint Thomas and gymnast Rhian Pugh from Newport.

Thomas, 18, was crowned World Junior Scratch Race champion this year a few months after claiming silver in the European Junior Points event.

He also became the first junior cyclist to win the Wales men's road race and last month came second in the opening round of the senior Track World Cup in Moscow.

Pugh, 15, became the first British gymnast to win a medal at the European Junior Championships when she grabbed gold in May.

She was also part of the British team that achieved their highest position of fourth place at the championships and last week won silver on the asymmetric bars at the Junior Commonwealth Games.

The Merit Award was won by City of Cardiff Swimming Club coach Dave Haller, who was recently named the Sports Council for Wales Coach of the Year.

Haller coached David Davies to a bronze medal in the 1500 metres freestyle at this year's Olympic Games and also worked with 1980 Olympic 100m breaststroke champion Duncan Goodhew.

A coach at Whitchurch Hockey Club for 20 years and an organiser of the Welsh Youth Championships became the second recipient of the Unsung Hero Award.

Chris Despres will now go forward as Wales representative in the UK-wide competition, which will be decided at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards on 12 December.


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