Lewis Hamilton crowned another hugely successful year with victory in the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year poll.
The 35-year-old claimed his seventh Formula One title this year to equal Michael Schumacher’s record, and overcame Jordan Henderson and Hollie Doyle to win the broadcaster’s prestigious prize after a public vote.
In October the Mercedes driver eclipsed Schumacher’s record of race wins, with his 92nd success coming at the Portuguese Grand Prix.
This is his second BBC prize, having also won it in 2014.
England midfielder Henderson skippered the Reds to their first league title in 30 years, and they remain on course to retain the championship this season and are top of the Premier League heading into the busy Christmas period.
Henderson was also widely praised for his role in the #PlayersTogether campaign which raised funds for NHS charities during the coronavirus pandemic.
Doyle broke her own record for the most winners in a calendar year by a female jockey before enjoying a Champions Day double at Ascot – including her first Group One aboard Glen Shiel in the British Champions Sprint.
The other three members of the six-person shortlist were Tyson Fury, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Stuart Broad.
Hamilton said on receiving the award: “Firstly I want to say congratulations to all the incredible nominees.
“I’m so proud of what they have achieved this year. I want to say thank you to everyone who has called in and voted for me. I really wasn’t expecting this knowing that there were so many great competitors. They’re all winners.
“I really want to send 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 at this difficult time.
“I’m sending everyone positivity and again, thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Hamilton added: “I will continue to do my part in representing the country in the best way I can.
“Everyone out there go out and follow your dreams. All the kids, never give up and continue to believe in yourself, because you have what it takes to be great.”
Hamilton has been a vocal advocate in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and said he now had “something different” driving him.
“This year has been such a year of growth, amongst the difficulty that we’ve been faced with, but I feel like I’ve really found my compass this year,” he said in an interview to be broadcast on BBC Breakfast.
“And I feel like there’s this huge amount of work to do in so many areas. And this is really probably one of the first years I felt like I’ve had something different driving me at the core, pushing for diversity within our industry, using your voice for something far bigger than myself.”
Third-placed Doyle said: “It felt unbelievable, but it felt like I was picking it up for the horse racing industry not just myself.
“I always thought that good things like this don’t happen to people like me but I’m just honoured to be where I am.”
Marcus Rashford’s incredible efforts off the pitch were recognised with a special award.
The England and Manchester United footballer led a successful campaign to extend the provision of free school meals for vulnerable children during the spring lockdown, and continues to work on projects to tackle child hunger.
Henderson’s Liverpool side were chosen as the Team of the Year after they ended a 30-year wait for a league title, while Reds manager Jurgen Klopp was recognised as Coach of the Year.
The Young Sports Personality of the Year for 2020 was 16-year-old diver Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix, while the Overseas Sports Personality of the Year prize was given to mixed martial arts star Khabib Nurmagomedov.
He claimed his 29th professional win – without a single defeat – over Justin Gaethje in October.
Captain Sir Tom Moore was chosen as the winner of the Helen Rollason Award for his phenomenal fundraising efforts during the first lockdown in the spring.
Captain Tom, who celebrated his 100th birthday this year, raised £38.9million for the NHS while walking laps of his garden. He was knighted in the summer.
His efforts were an inspiration to the country in a dark period, and to no-one more than nine-year-old Tobias Weller, who received the very first Captain Tom Young Unsung Hero of the Year award.
Tobias, who suffers from cerebral palsy, completed the length of a marathon during lockdown with the aid of his walker. Tobias also began a new ‘Tobiathon’ challenge to run the same distance using a race runner. He raised over £150,000 for Sheffield Children’s Hospital and the Pace school.
The Unsung Hero award was given posthumously to Sergeant Matiu Ratana, who was shot dead on police duty earlier this year. Ratana, a keen rugby player and coach, served as a sergeant in the Met for almost 30 years. His award was collected by his partner Su Bushby, in recognition of the voluntary work he did at East Grinstead rugby club.