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The Irish Men And Women Who Have Been Crowned BBC Sports Personality Of The Year

The Irish Men And Women Who Have Been Crowned BBC Sports Personality Of The Year
By Colman Stanley Updated
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Last night, England footballer Beth Mead was crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year, after winning Euro 2022 and the top scorer award in the tournament.

She beat out an impressive list of nominees including Ben Stokes, Eve Muirhead, Ronnie O'Sullivan, Jake Wightman, and Jessica Gadirova.

Over the years, a fair few Irish have been nominated, and three have won the award. We're taking a quick look back at those who have been crowned the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Mary Peters

Peters was born in England but moved to Northern Ireland at a young age, and was awarded the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award after winning pentathlon gold at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

"Winning the BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1972 was a surprise," said Peters. "I had never thought about having my name on the trophy until the evening of the event. And when my name was called, I was the first from Northern Ireland to receive that honour.

"There have been two other people since - Barry McGuigan and AP McCoy - who have won since. It was unusual in those days for a woman to hold the trophy but luckily for me the Princess Royal had won it the previous year so it was she who presented me with the trophy. As I lifted it up, I couldn’t resist saying out loud: “Hasn’t she kept it clean!”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmrLisn-fkw

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READ HERE: How The Voting Broke Down For BBC Sports Personality Of The Year

Barry McGuigan

McGuigan is the only man from the Republic of Ireland to been crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and he did so after winning the WBA featherweight world title against Eusebio Pedroza in 1985.

10 June 1985; World boxing featherweight champion Barry McGuigan, accompanied by his wife Sandra and parents Pat and Katie McGuigan, is brought by open top bus into his home town of Clones in Monaghan on his return after beating Eusebio Pedroza at Loftus Road in London to win the world featherweight title. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

AP McCoy

After years of trying, McCoy finally won the Grand National in 2010 on Don't Push It, and was duly awarded with the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

The man from Moneyglass in County Antrim was also given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the BBC in 2015.

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"To be receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award is a big highlight of what has been an incredible year,’ said McCoy.

"It’s a huge honour and I’m thrilled to be accepting it so close to home in Belfast. I’m looking forward to what will be a very special night."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUSejn6im44

Notable Mentions

Among those who have finished in the top three over the years include: George Best, Willie John McBride, Alex Higgins, Darren Clarke, and Jonathan Rea.

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