England cricketer Ben Stokes has been voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 2019.
In a year of highs and lows for Stokes, he saw off both Lewis Hamilton and Dina Asher-Smith to be crowned SPOTY in the public vote.
After a man of the match performance as England won the World Cup for the first time, the dramatic super over victory against New Zealand at Lord’s was the icing on the cake for the 28 year-old.
Stokes also hit an unbeaten 135 in the one-wicket third Ashes Test triumph against Australia at Headingley.
The Princess Royal and former Manchester United and Scotland footballer Denis Law presented Durham’s Stokes with the award.
He becomes the first cricketer since Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff in 2005 to win the prize, becoming just the fifth ever.
Manchester City and England winger Raheem Sterling and world heptathlon champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson were also nominated for the award.
Stokes is missing the first warm-up match of England’s Test tour of South Africa, which starts on Tuesday, due to attending the show in Aberdeen.
In his acceptance speech, Stokes said:
“First of all, I think congratulations to all the nominees. What you’ve managed to achieve as individuals and do for your sport is simply sensational, so well done to you too.”
“It’s an individual award, but I play a team sport and one of the great things about that is you get to share special moments with those team-mates, coaches and without that effort you put in, I wouldn’t be up here receiving this award so thank you so much. “Two years ago was a tough time for me in my life and I’ve had so many people help me through that.”
Many celebrities and well known names took to Twitter to congratulate the England international.
Congratulations to @benstokes38 on a deserved win. What a summer he gave us cricket fans. Never saw it coming, honest. 🤣— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) December 15, 2019
Stokes enjoyed a great year in 2019 on the field, but why did the New Zealand born star deserve the award?
After a huge high in July after World Cup victory, there was a big set down come September for Stokes, as newspaper outlet ‘The Sun’ published a three decade old secret family tragedy on their front pages.
Stokes spoke out about The Sun and their editors through Twitter, condemning them as: “utterly disgusting”.
But the all-rounder’s on and off the field personality shone through his darker moments of 2019, with his vice captaincy of the England cricket team guiding them to their first ever World Cup success.
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