SHEFFIELD golden girl Jessica Ennis is runner up to Bradley Wiggins who was named BBC Sport’s Personality Of The Year, writes Graham Walker.
Cyclist Wiggins was the bookmakers’ odds-on favourite after his historic triumph in the Tour de France and gold in the Olympics time trial.
But he was closely followed by heptathlon champion Ennis - the greatest all-round sportswoman in the world and the face of the Olympics.
Andy Murray, who became the first British man to win a grand slam singles title for 76 years when he triumphed in the US Open and won an Olympic gold, was third.
Sheffield’s Lord Sebastian Coe, aged 56, a double Olympic medallist, who was chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Duchess of Cambridge, in her first public appearance since leaving hospital after treatment for severe pregnancy sickness, presented the main prize and also handed over awards to runner up Ennis, plus Lord Coe.
Lord Coe, surrounded on stage by sporting legends, including previous winners, said: “I’m so flattered and honoured - I’ve also been lucky.”
David Beckham introduced Lord Coe and praised his “determination and competitive spirit”.
“He knew we could put on the greatest show on Earth. He run the Olympics and won the Olympics,’’ Beckham added.
Jess’s coach, Toni Minichiello, was shortlisted for Coach Of The Year, which went to cycling supremo Dave Brailsford.
Usain Bolt was named as the Overseas Sports Personality of the Year.
The list of nominees for the top prize was extended from 10 to 12 this year to reflect the incredible year for British sport.
It also included Mo Farah, double gold medallist in the 5,000 metres and 10,000m, boxer Nicola Adams, sailor Ben Ainslie, 5000m and 10,000 runner Mo Farah, rower Katherine Grainger, sprint cyclist Sir Chris Hoy, golfer Rory McIlroy, Paralymic swimmer Ellie Simmonds, cyclist Sarah Storey and Paralympic wheelchair marathon man David Weir.
Many of Britain’s other top sport stars attended and took part in the event to celebrate Britain’s greatest ever year at the annual glitzy event, this year at London’s ExCeL Arena.
Teenage swimmer Josef Craig was named as the Young Sports Personality of the Year after becoming Britain’s youngest gold medallist at the 2012 Paralympics.
The 15-year-old won the S7 400m freestyle final in a new world record, knocking nearly two seconds off the previous best.
Craig, who has mild cerebral palsy, was diagnosed with Graves’ disease in 2011 which causes rapid weight loss.
He had his thyroid removed but battled back to secure a spot at the Games.
The South Shields swimmer beat competition from gymnast Rebecca Tunney and Jessica-Jane Applegate to win the award at London’s ExCeL Arena.
After receiving the gong from three-time winner Tom Daley, Craig said: “I would just like to say a big thanks to everyone involved in getting my gold.
“It was a big shock. I didn’t expect it. It was an amazing part of my life.
“I would like to thank my mum and dad, along with the rest of my family and friends, and everyone at British Swimming.”
The SPOTY Helen Rollason award, “for outstanding achievement in the face of adversity”, went to Martine Wright, 40, of London, the Paralympic sitting volleyball player who lost both legs in the 7/7 London bombings, in 2005.
Wright lost 80% of blood in her body and was in a coma for 10 days after being caught in the deadly terrorist attacks.
Seven years later, after 10 months of surgery and a gruelling training schedule, she competed for Paralympics GB in the sitting volleyball tournament.
Wright paid tribute to the 52 people who died in the attacks and the woman who pulled her from the wreckage that day - PC Elizabeth Kenworthy.
“It’s an absolute honour to be here collecting this award.
“I did count myself lucky that I survived that awful day. I have had an incredible journey over the last seven years, and I have had lots of people supporting me too.
“I’d like to accept this award on behalf of them. That’s my husband Nick, my family, my friends, and the absolutely wonderful Liz (PC Kenworthy) for saving my life that day.
“I’d also like to thank all the emergency services. They did so much that day. I will never forget the 52 people who sadly lost their lives that day. This is definitely for them as well.”