Murray wins 2015 BBC Sports Personality award

Britain's Andy Murray celebrating with the Davis Cup trophy. The world No. 2 had also helped the Singapore Slammers win the IPTL title.
Britain's Andy Murray celebrating with the Davis Cup trophy. The world No. 2 had also helped the Singapore Slammers win the IPTL title.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Fresh from playing his part in the Singapore Slammers' International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) victory, Andy Murray was honoured for his role in another team success.

The world No. 2 won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award for 2015 at a star-studded reception in Belfast on Sunday for his role in leading Britain last month to their first Davis Cup title since 1936.

Accepting the award for the second time, the Scot said: "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." Worthing is a seaside resort in southern England.

In second place came Kevin Sinfield, who retired from rugby league after an extraordinary career.

A GREAT HONOUR

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.

ANDY MURRAY, on receiving his BBC Sports Personality of the Year award

Jessica Ennis-Hill, who was crowned world heptathlon champion in August, 13 months after giving birth, came in third.

Boxer Tyson Fury was one of the 10 shortlisted contenders, but was in the spotlight over controversial comments about women and homosexuals.

The world heavyweight champion made an apology on Sunday, insisting his remarks had been tongue-in-cheek.

Fury, whose comments had led to more than 130,000 people signing a petition calling for the BBC to remove him from its shortlist, told the crowd: "I've said a lot of stuff in the past, none of it with intentions to hurt anybody.

"It's all a bit tongue-in-cheek, it's all fun and games for me. I'm not really a serious type of person.

"If I've said anything in the past that's hurt anybody, I apologise to anybody who's been hurt out there."

Murray then collected the prestigious award in front of an audience of 7,500 at the SSE arena.

The Olympic gold medallist and two-time Major champion reflected on Britain's rise to Davis Cup fame.

"This has been a five-year journey - we were right down at the bottom level of tennis," he recalled.

"And now we're ranked No. 1 in the world.

"I never thought that would be possible."

He has also helped the Slammers turn their fortunes around.

He won all three of his matches in the Dubai leg a week ago before the Slammers - bottom in the IPTL last season - were crowned champions on home soil on Sunday.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 22, 2015, with the headline 'Murray wins 2015 BBC Sports Personality award'. Print Edition | Subscribe