Sports Personality of the Year 2014: Lewis Hamilton admits he has achieved a 'dream' after beating Rory McIlroy to award

Even Hamilton admitted his surprise at beating the golfer who he said 'had such an incredible year' by over 80,000 votes

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The Independent Online

Lewis Hamilton pulled off an emphatic BBC Sports Personality of the Year triumph that surprised even himself.

The Englishman claimed a third of the vote weeks after clinching his second Formula One world title.

The 29-year-old had twice been runner-up for the BBC prize and looked to heading for a hat-trick of near-misses with Rory McIlroy, the Northern Irishman who won two golf majors in 2014, a clear favourite.

But Hamilton took 209,920 votes with McIlroy second on 123,745.


Hamilton said: "I'm so proud and honoured to be among so much British sporting talent. A massive thank you to all the people that called in, I really was not expecting it - because dude (McIlroy), you had such an incredible year.

"I never thought I would be up here standing with the greats. It's just a dream."

Hamilton has picked up multiple awards since winning a second F1 title

McIlroy became the first UK golfer to win back-to-back majors when he claimed the US PGA title in August after winning the Open weeks earlier. The 25-year-old four-time major winner then helped Europe to Ryder Cup victory at Gleneagles in September.

"It was a phenomenal year," McIlroy said. "(The Open) was the trophy I dreamed of winning as a little boy, to have my mother there was special. It makes me a little emotional. It was a special moment and one I'll cherish for the rest of my life."

World No 1 Rory McIlroy has won two majors this year

In third place was English distance runner Jo Pavey, who claimed 99,913 of the total 620,932 votes.

She became the oldest-ever female European champion by winning the 10,000 metres in Zurich aged 40 years and 325 days, less than a year after giving birth to her second child.

Sir Chris Hoy, the six-time Olympic cycling champion, received the Lifetime Achievement award and Cristiano Ronaldo scooped the Overseas Sports Personality of the Year award, while McIlroy's Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley was named Coach of the Year.

Sir Chris Hoy picked up the Lifetime Achievement award

McGinley's team missed out on the Team of the Year prize, which went to the England women's rugby union side after they won the World Cup.

Gymnast Claudia Fragapane collected the Young Sports Personality of the Year prize at the Hydro - the venue where the 17-year-old won four Commonwealth Games gold medals for England in the summer.

The Helen Rollason Award, for outstanding achievement in the face of adversity, went to the competitors of the Invictus Games, all injured servicemen and women.

And the Get Inspired Unsung Hero award went to 77-year-old Jill Stidever, who has coached disabled swimmers - including three Paralympians - for more than half a century.