Yet another honour for super Flintoff

Last updated at 09:09 12 December 2005

Andrew Flintoff admitted receiving his Sports Personality of the Year award from boyhood idol Ian Botham was the icing on the cake for the England all-rounder.

The 28-year-old was handed the accolade at around 3am in Lahore, just over five hours before the England team bus was due to set off for the second one-day international against Pakistan.

But there was no way Flintoff was going to begrudge his lack of sleep as a cockerel crowed to signal the start of the dawn chorus outside the England hotel just as he received the trophy.

"As a kid growing up watching cricket, it was Ian Botham for me - and Viv Richards," said

Flintoff. "To receive that tonight from 'Beefy' - who I've got to know well - made it even sweeter.

"He was the last cricketer (to win it) and obviously an all-rounder too, so to receive it from him was great.

"I only found out (I'd won) about two minutes before - I'd have looked a bit daft staying up till three o'clock in the morning for nothing.

"I haven't had much sleep, to be honest, but I'm not too bad. I'll get back up to my room now and prepare for the game."

Flintoff scorched to victory in the voting for the award thanks to his heroics in this year's amazing Ashes success over Australia.

The Lancastrian's 402 runs and 24 wickets were instrumental as England wrested back the urn for the first time since 1987, and saw him edge out round-the-world yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur, who was second, and Liverpool's Champions League-winning captain Steven Gerrard in third.

"I haven't had a great deal of time to reflect on the Ashes - although I've spent a fair bit of time on my own out here," he revealed.

"A lot of it still hasn't sunk in. It was an amazing few weeks - but I think it's something maybe later on in my career I'll look back at.

"At the moment here we are just starting a one-day series against Pakistan, and I have to get some sleep and get ready for the game.

"There's a lot of cricket between now and the next Ashes. We've got Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan again first.

"But I hope if we can continue in the vein we have - although the Test series out here was a bit of a hiccup - we are an improving side, and come next winter in Australia we'll be trying for a repeat performance. It would be a great thrill to do it over there as well."

Stand-in skipper Marcus Trescothick was also on hand to talk about England's Team of the Year award, collected by injured regular captain Michael Vaughan back in London.

"It is great, fantastic for the boys who have worked so hard," said the Somerset batsman.

"We are delighted with our performance last summer and we do realise we captivated the English public.

"To beat big teams like Liverpool and Wales, winning the grand slam, is very rewarding. We have waited a long time to get into this position, and to be voted the best by the British public is great."


2004 BBC Sports Personality of the Year: Andrew Flintoff

Team of the Year: England cricket team

Overseas personality: Shane Warne

Coach of the Year: Jose Mourinho

Young Sports Personality of the Year: Harry Aikines-Aryeetey

Lifetime Achievement: Pele

Helen Rollasson Award: Geoff Thomas

Unsung Hero Award: Trevor Collins

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