Lewis Hamilton has won Sports Personality of the Year and accepted the award from home as the socially distanced ceremony saw Gary Lineker play keepie-uppie with a toilet roll.
Captain Tom Moore introduced tonight’s ceremony on BBC One before he was given a special honour for his fundraising efforts, while Marcus Rashford was also praised for his campaigning.
After winning his seventh Formula 1 world championship, Lewis Hamilton was favourite to win Sports Personality of the Year and lived up to the expectation, with Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson finishing as runner-up.
Hamilton appeared at the ceremony from one of his many luxury homes, and was thought to be in either Monaco or Colorado.
Speaking after scooping the prize, he said: ‘I really wasn’t expecting this knowing that there’s so many great contenders, but I think they’re all winners.
‘I really want to say a merry Christmas to everyone. I know it’s been such an unusual year, but all the frontline workers, all the children around the world, please try and stay positive through this difficult time.
‘I’m just really proud to be amongst them all and I will continue to try and do my part for representing the country in the best way I can.
‘Please everyone out there, go out and follow your dreams, all the kids never give up on yourselves. You have what it takes.’
Others in contention included boxer Tyson Fury, cricketer Stuart Broad, jockey Hollie Doyle and snooker ace Ronnie O’Sullivan.
yson Fury failed to appear on the show after demanding he be removed from this year’s list, saying he was the ‘people’s champion’.
Gabby Logan told viewers: ‘As you may have heard, Tyson has asked that people do not vote for him.
‘He’s decided not to engage with the show or accept any award and that is Tyson’s choice.’
Gary Lineker said Fury was chosen as a finalist ‘on the strength of his sporting achievements in 2020’.
Appearing from his home, Lewis Hamilton took an opportunity during his interview to discuss racial inequality within Formula 1.
‘It’s never been a diverse sport and I think this year you’ve seen so many inspirational individuals, congratulations to Marcus (Rashford). There’s so many people doing great things out there
‘I think in our sport, it shouldn’t matter where you come from. We’ve really got to fight for gender equality, it shouldn’t matter where your socio-economic background is or your religion and so I think we’ve got to work together collectively.
‘There are so many great jobs within this industry and it’s not about seeing the next me coming through, it’s about creating equal opportunities and making sure its reflective of the outside world.’
Since the F1 campaign restarted in July, Hamilton has been vocal in his support for the Black Lives Matter campaign and has been wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the movement’s logo on the grid all season to date.
In September, he was criticised by his former F1 rival Vitaly Petrov for being ‘overzealous’ in his approach to support the BLM movement.
The champion also escaped punishment for carrying the slogan: ‘Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor,’ in reference to the black woman who was killed by police in Kentucky in March, after winning the Tuscany Grand Prix in September.
Earlier this month the 35-year-old revealed he had tested positive for Covid-19.
Hamilton’s record-breaking season was put in jeopardy as he was forced to self-isolate at his hotel, less than 24 hours after winning the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Hamilton, who had spent time on holiday in Dubai with his family and close friends before travelling to Bahrain, said at the time he was ‘devastated’ not to be able to race in the wake of the test result.
Hamilton was speaking after Manchester United star Marcus Rashford was presented a special award for his campaigning this year to help hungry children from poor backgrounds receive free school meals.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson took the opportunity to praise Rashford’s efforts while speaking to Gabby and Gary.
He said: ‘To use your platform to help for the better is really important, Marcus Rashford’s a perfect example I think what he’s doing is incredible.
‘The more people like him the better.’
Rashford told presenters last night: ‘I’ve always had this thing that eats at me saying “make sure you make a difference for the next generation” and I think as a country we should always protect them as much as we can and give them the best chance in life to become whatever it is they want to become.’
After introducing this year’s ceremony, Captain Tom Moore, 100, who raised millions for the NHS in the early months of the pandemic has given his name to a new prize.
The Captain Tom: Young Unsung Hero award saw the Second World War veteran honour a youngster for their contribution to the community.
Olympian Jessica Ennis-Hill handed the award to nine-year-old Tobias Weller, who has cerebral palsy and autism, after he walked at least 50 metres every day, raising more than £150,000 for Sheffield Children’s Hospital and Paces School.
Captain Tom told the youngster: ‘You’re a marvellous young man, this is a great honour that you’re getting and congratulations I’m absolutely thrilled.’
Tobias said it was ‘awesome,’ to meet Captain Tom, saying he was ‘inspirational’.
Captain Tom was presented with the Helen Rollason award, which honours outstanding achievement in the face of adversity.
Celeste performed Nat King Cole’s Smile as the ceremony took a moment to honour the sports people to have died during 2020, including the likes of Diego Maradona and Jack Charlton.
A microphone malfunction meant Gary Lineker could be heard saying ‘hello’ over the performance.
News Source: Daily Mail