Jessica Ennis-Hill voted third in BBC Sports Personality of the Year award as Andy Murray takes top prize

Sheffield’s Jessica Ennis-Hill capped off a remarkable 2015 by finishing third for the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year Award.

Sunday, 20th December 2015, 8:49 pm
Andy Murray is congratulated on winning the 2015 Sports Personality of the Year by third placed Jessica Ennis-Hill

Jessica had taken time out from athletics following the birth of her son, Reggie, but just over a year after having her first child, the 29 year old stormed back into action and incredibly won gold at the World Championships in Beijing in August.

It was the second time that Ennis-Hill has been nominated for the prize, having been edged out by Bradley Wiggins following their amazing Olympics success in 2012.

This time it was Andy Murray, after last month’s glory for Great Britain in the Davis Cup, who picked up the top prize.

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Murray, who also picked up the Team of the Year award along with his Davis Cup team-mates, had started a narrow favourite to win the award over Ennis-Hill.

But a sustained campaign by the rugby league community paid off as Sinfield - the first nominee from his sport - pipped his fellow Yorkshire athlete into second place.

Speaking at a glittering ceremony in Belfast, Murray said of his second BBC Sports Personality of the Year nod: “I didn’t expect this - a friend actually sent me a message the other day with an article from a newspaper which said Andy Murray is duller than a weekend in Worthing, which I thought was a bit harsh - on Worthing.

“It’s very humbling to be up here in front of so many great athletes - I’m just a great sports fan and I’m really nervous.

“This has been a five-year journey - we were right down at the bottom level or tennis and now we’re ranked number one in the world and I never thought that would be possible.”

Northern Ireland football manager Michael O’Neill was a popular winner of the Coach of the Year prize.

Northern ireland hadn’t qualified for a major international tournament since the World Cup in 1986, but O’Neill led the side to next summer’s European Championships - the first time they have made it through to the finals of the competition.

Overseas Sports Personality of the Year was won by Dan Carter who helped New Zealand win the Rugby World Cup this year.

Teenage gymnast was named Young Sports Personality of the Year after winning bronze at the European Championships.

Ellie became the first gymnast to win an all-round individual medal for Great Britain.

Legendary jockey AP McCoy, who retired this year was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement award and received a rapturous reception from the crowd in his hoem country.

Eight-year-old Bailey Matthews, who has cerebral palsy, was the recipient of the Helen Rollason Award after completing a junior triathlon in June, while Damian Lindsay won the BBC Sport Unsung Hero award for his football and community work in Belfast.