After winning the ATP World Tour Finals to end the year as the World No1 having collected nine titles during 2016, including Wimbledon for a second time and then retaining the Olympic crown, it wasnÈt surprising to learn that Andy Murray was favourite to win this yearÈs BBC SportÈs Personality of the Year.
This was confirmed on Sunday night in Birmingham when he received 247,410 of the public votes, nearly twice as many votes as second placed two-time Olympic Triathlete Alistair Brownlee (121,665), and third placed Nick Skelton, the veteran showjumper (109,197).
I'd also like to say a huge thanks to my wife for all of her support over the years. And also my daughter who won't know what this means yet but maybe in a few years she'll appreciate it.
It was a record breaking third time that Murray has collected this award having previously also won it in 2013 and 2015.
“I’d like to thank everyone who voted. I really appreciate all of your support,” the 29 year-old Murray said after being presented with the trophy by former boxer Lennox Lewis, poolside in the Miami sunshine, where he is currently training in preparation for the new season.
“I’d obviously like to thank my team. They make a lot of sacrifices for me. They spend time away from their families at times of the year like this and I really appreciate all of your support.
“I’d like to thank my family as well. I think my mum’s in the crowd there – thanks for all of your help. My dad just got married 10 days ago. I miss you guys.
“I’d also like to say a huge thanks to my wife for all of her support over the years. And also my daughter who won’t know what this means yet but maybe in a few years she’ll appreciate it.
“I appreciate everyone’s support and congrats to all of the athletes there tonight. It’s been an amazing year for British sport and I’m very proud to be a part of it.”
Having acknowledged the support of his family, Murray then surprised everyone by revealing that his wife had not voted for him, but for Nick Skelton!
“I’ve got a bone to pick with my wife because she actually told me about an hour ago she’d voted for Nick Skelton, he said, adding: “Not smart from her with Christmas coming up!”
He also had time to pay tribute to the other outstanding British performances in the game.
ItÈs been a great year with Jo Konta finishing in the top 10, he said. My brother finished No1 in the doubles and Gordon Reid and Andy Lapthorne in the Paralympics, and IÈm proud to be part of that.