Jockey McCoy voted BBC sports personality of 2010

The 36-year-old McCoy had won most major races in Britain - including the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle and King George VI Chase - but had 14 failed attempts to win the Grand National until he rode Don't Push It to victory in April.

"When I started off as a jockey I wanted to be champion jockey in my mind, and I have been lucky enough to be champion jockey for 15 years," McCoy said at the awards' ceremony in Birmingham. "But the Grand National is the biggest horse race in the world and everyone knows I had won all the other races, and to finally achieve that ... it was just an unbelievable day."

The Northern Irishman - known as A.P. McCoy - topped the public poll ahead of darts player Phil Taylor and world heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis.

"He's dominated racing like Tiger Woods dominated golf and Roger Federer dominated tennis," jockey Ruby Walsh said of McCoy.

There were no footballers on the 10-man shortlist at the end of a year in which no English side reached the Champions League semifinals and the national team had a disappointing World Cup.

But former England captain David Beckham, his country's most capped outfield player, received the BBC's lifetime achievement award.Watched by his wife and three sons, the 35-year-old midfielder received the trophy from Bobby Charlton, the 73-year-old former Manchester United and England great who won the same award himself two years ago.
"I have been lucky enough to have played for some of the great teams - Preston, Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan and Los Angeles Galaxy - and of course playing for England has been the highlight," Beckham said.

Rafael Nadal won the overseas sports personality prize at the end of a year in which the 24-year-old Spaniard won the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.
Europe's Ryder Cup players won the team of the year prize after regaining the trophy from the United States in October.

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