Giggs left speechless by shock victory in BBC poll

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

The evergreen Ryan Giggs was crowned the BBC Sports Personality of the Year last night, taking pole position in the public vote ahead of the pre-event favourite Jenson Button, who was second, and Jessica Ennis, third.

Giggs, 36, the most decorated player in the history of English football, has won 11 Premier League titles and two European Cups in 20 years with Manchester United but still said winning last night "is up there". He also joked his latest trophy will come in handy in earning a new contract. "I might have to put it on the table," he said.

Giggs polled 29.4 per cent of the votes (151,842 votes) to win from Button (96,770 votes) and Ennis (80,469). The other finalists, in order of most votes, were cyclist Mark Cavendish, gymnast Beth Tweddle, diver Tom Daley, tennis's Andy Murray, cricketer Andrew Strauss, boxer David Haye and triple-jumper Phillips Idowu.

Giggs appeared genuinely shocked by winning. He had not prepared a speech, and said he was nervous to be mingling with his own sporting heroes, including Seb Coe and Michael Johnson. "I've been lucky to win a lot in my career, playing for the greatest manager who's ever lived, for the greatest club, but this is up there," he said.

Button, who won the Formula One title this season having been unemployed this time last year, was the hot favourite for last night's main award. Giggs moved into contention in the bookmakers' lists last week, then during last night's programme became the odds-on favourite.

As has become custom in recent years, the most emotional scenes of the evening came with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Sir Bobby Charlton last year and Sir Bobby Robson before him left few dry eyes when they picked up that award. Seve Ballesteros, five times a Major winner, was honoured last night for his contribution to golf, and received his trophy at home in Spain from his compatriot Jose Maria Olazabal.

Ballesteros was unable to travel because he remains frail from his fight with brain cancer, something that evidently moved Olazabal, who was almost crying as he described his friend's career achievements thus: "You did it with a lot of imagination, a lot of skill, and most of all you did it with your heart."

Olazabal needed to compose himself at one stage. "This is very emotional for me too, Seve," he said to Ballesteros, who injected a moment of levity by patting Olazabal's arm and saying: "You're doing OK."

Among those missing out on the major gong was England's cricket captain, Strauss, but England's cricketers won the Team of the Year award for regaining the Ashes.

Coach of the Year award went to Fabio Capello, for leading England to the 2010 World Cup finals, and transforming their fortunes in general. He confirmed he wants to stay in his job until his contract expires in 2012.

The teenage diving prodigy Daley had to settle for winning the Young Sports Personality of the Year award for the second time, after winning in 2007. His award came after he was crowned world diving champion on the 10m high board this summer.

Usain Bolt won the Overseas Sports Personality of the Year award for the second straight year. Major Phil Packer won the Helen Rollason Award for outstanding achievement in the face of adversity. He was told he would never walk again after suffering a spinal injury in Iraq but completed the London marathon course in 13 days on crutches, raising £1.2m for charity.

News
The author PD James, who died on 27 November 2014
people

Detective novelist who wrote Death comes to Pemberley passed away peacefully at her home, aged 94

Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
filmDirector said film would 'never have been financed' with ethnic minority actors in key roles
Life and Style
View of champagne glasses at a beach bar set up along the Croisette during the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes on May 17, 2013
food + drink(and for now, there's a clear winner)
Life and Style
tech

Sites using the popular Gigya comment platform were attacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Irradiated turkey and freeze dried mash potato will be on the menu this thanksgiving
video
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?