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Sports Personality facts and figures

Elton John, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean
Elton John presented the 1984 award to Torvill and Dean

Sports Personality of the Year
Venue: Liverpool Echo Arena Date: Sunday, 14 December Time: 1900 GMT Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Radio 5 Live & BBC Sport website.

BBC Sports Personality of the Year celebrates its 55th anniversary this year and still remains one of the most important fixtures on the sporting calendar.

The end-of-the-year television spectacle began in 1954 and attracted an audience of 12m viewers who watched athlete Chris Chataway pick up the main award.

The show has gone from strength-to-strength ever since and is now unmissable viewing.

Since Chataway was honoured, there have been 53 sportsmen and sportswomen who have won the coveted title of BBC Sports Personality of the Year, while many others have been recipients of the other BBC Spoty awards.

We have compiled more Sports Personality information for your pleasure below:


• BBC's Sports Personality of the Year was created in 1954 by Sir Paul Fox, then editor of the magazine show Sportsview, and was presented by Peter Dimmock.

Michael Owen
Michael Owen won the award in 1998, aged 18

• Dimmock was the first of 10 presenters. Frank Bough, Harry Carpenter, Des Lynam, Steve Rider, Sue Barker, Gary Lineker, Clare Balding, John Inverdale and Adrian Chiles have all played their part since. Bough was the longest running presenter, notching up a record 19 shows between 1964 and 1982.

• The first show was called Sportsview, before it became re-titled as Sports Review of the Year and then became, as we know it today, Sports Personality of the Year, in 1999.

• The event had been hosted at various venues around London before the decision was taken to move the show outside the capital two years ago and give the public the chance to attend the staging. The Birmingham NEC was its first port of call in 2006 and 2007 before its relocation to Liverpool's Echo Arena. Tickets for the last two Sports Personalities sold out in an hour.

• Other venues to have hosted the ceremony include the Savoy Hotel, Grosvenor House Hotel, Television Theatre, Shepherd's Bush Empire, New London Theatre, Queen Elizabeth II Centre and BBC Television Centre.

• Swimmer Ian Black became the youngest winner of the award in 1958, at the age of 17, and golfer Dai Rees is the oldest winner, having picked up the accolade at the age of 44 in 1957.

• Kelly Holmes win in 2004 was the 17th time a track and field athlete had received the accolade.

• Only three people have won the award twice: Henry Cooper (1967 and 1970), Nigel Mansell (1986 and 1992) and Damon Hill (1994 and 1996).

• In 1960, the first Overseas Personality of the Year award was picked up by Australian athlete Herb Elliott. The same year, the inaugural Team of the Year prize was presented to the Cooper Formula One Racing team.

• Swimmer Anita Lonsbrough was the first female to win Personality of the Year in 1962.

• Skating duo Torvill and Dean won Team of the Year twice (1982 & 1983) and Sports Personality of the Year once, in their golden year of 1984.

• Bobby Moore, Nick Faldo, showjumper David Broome, Steve Redgrave, David Beckham, Jonny Wilkinson and Andrew Flintoff are the only others to have collected the individual prize and been part of a winning Team of the Year.

Lennox Lewis and Muhammed Ali
Lennox Lewis, who won the main award in 1999, stands alongside Ali who was handed a unique award

• Muhammad Ali has been named Overseas Personality of the Year a record three times (1973, 1974 and 78). He was also awarded the BBC Sports Personality of the Century Award in 1999.

• After athletics, with 17, motor racing has provided the most individual award winners, with six. Boxing has provided five, football and cricket have thrown up four each. In 2003, Jonny Wilkinson became the first rugby union player to win the main award.

• The Team of the Year prize has been won four times by the Ryder Cup Golf team (1985, 1987, 1995 and 2002).

Several new awards have been introduced in recent years:

Sir Alex Ferguson was named as the first winner of the Coach of the Year award in 1999. The Manchester United manager won the first Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.


Dean Macey (1999) and Jenson Button (2000) won the Newcomer of the Year awards before that award was replaced by the Young Personality of the Year prize in 2001.

The Helen Rollason Award, named after the former BBC sports presenter who died after a battle against cancer, was introduced in 1999.

The Unsung Hero award began life in 2003 and is awarded to a volunteer who has made a difference to their community through sport.

Two Special Awards have also been presented to Sebastian Coe (2005) for helping with the London 2012 bid and comedian David Walliams (2006) for raising money for Sport Relief by swimming the Channel.

Five awards have been presented only once:

Manager of the Year - Leeds United's Don Revie (1969)

Special Team Award - GB men's 4x400m team (1986)

Good Sport Awards - Derek Warwick, Martin Donnelly, Louise Aitken-Walker for motorsport (1990)

International Team Award - Alan Bond and the crew of Australia II in sailing (1983)

Sports Personality of the Century Award - Muhammed Ali (1999)

see also
Sports Personality roll of honour
10 Oct 08 |  Sports Personality
Find a Young Sports Personality
08 Oct 08 |  Sports Personality
Bursaries for Unsung Heroes
16 Sep 08 |  Sports Personality
Nominate your regional Unsung Hero
08 Oct 08 |  Sports Personality
Who will win Sports Personality?
26 Aug 08 |  Sports Personality
Liverpool gets Sports Personality
22 Feb 08 |  Sports Personality

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