Updated: Jan 9, 2021
Lewis Hamilton has been named BBC Sports Personality of the Year, in what has been an exceptional year in his career and as a political activist.
Despite a year filled with turmoil and a disrupted sporting calendar globally, the Mercedes driver continued to consistently deliver when Formula 1 returned in the summer.
Hamilton won a public vote ahead of fellow nominees Stuart Broad, Hollie Doyle, Tyson Fury, Jordan Henderson and Ronnie O’Sullivan. In November he won his seventh world title, a record shared with Michael Schumacher.
Among the viewers in the virtual audience of about 700 were NHS workers and fundraisers, plus former winners of the award.
“I am so so grateful to the British public. I think it’s been a long journey together. I know there’s been a huge amount of support, particularly in the UK but also around the world with Brits going across all these different races. And so for them to call in tonight, and award me this great honour, I’m really just so grateful, Hamilton said.
Nine-year-old Tobias Weller was named the young unsung hero. Inspired by Capt Tom, Weller, who has cerebral palsy and autism, completed two marathons on his walker this year and has so far raised more than £150,000 for Sheffield Children’s hospital and Paces School.
The new prize was named after Sir Capt Tom Moore, who raised £38.9m for NHS charities during the first Covid wave, and was himself the winner of this year’s Helen Rollason prize for “inspiration in the face of adversity”.
Liverpool won the team of the year award and their manager, Jürgen Klopp, the coach of the year.
Marcus Rashford was not in the running for the main prize, but symbolised the unique nature of this year’s ceremony as he collected a panel special award for his charitable work during the pandemic.
Rashford, who has been outspoken on the matter of child food poverty, drew an outpouring of public support and more than one U-turn from the government.
Meanwhile, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, who was one of the nominees for the main prize received a commendation from Klopp, who wrote and read a letter to the 30-year-old, praising his ability to overcome criticism and to unite a team.
"You are a superstar in making the team work," Klopp said.