BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2014 victory for Lewis Hamilton

PUBLISHED: 13:16 15 December 2014 | UPDATED: 18:00 15 December 2014

SPOTY 2014 winner Lewis Hamilton [Picture: BBC / Keiron McCarron]

SPOTY 2014 winner Lewis Hamilton [Picture: BBC / Keiron McCarron]

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Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton overtook favourite Rory McIlroy to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2014.

Golfer McIlroy, who bagged both the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool and the 96th PGA Championship at Valhalla, and helped Europe retain the Ryder Cup, was the pre-show punters’ favourite to take the BBC trophy in Glasgow last night (Sunday).

However, petrolheads got behind Hertfordshire-born race ace Hamilton on the night.

And the 29-year-old double F1 world champion won the coveted BBC prize by a massive margin.

Having missed out on the SPOTY silverware when he first bagged the F1 world title in 2008, Hamilton totalled 209,920 votes last night, finishing more than 80,000 ahead of McIlroy.

Jo Pavey, SPOTY 2014 winner Lewis Hamilton and Rory McIlroy [Picture: BBC / Keiron McCarron]Jo Pavey, SPOTY 2014 winner Lewis Hamilton and Rory McIlroy [Picture: BBC / Keiron McCarron]

“I’m so honoured to be among such amazing athletes. I’m speechless,” said Hamilton after accepting the award.

Won last year by tennis ace Andy Murray, Hamilton follows in the footsteps of Welwyn Garden City-born golfer Sir Nick Faldo, who won SPOTY in 1989.

Golfer Rory McIlory finished second with 123,745 votes, and athlete Jo Pavey was third with 99,913.

This year Hamilton beat fierce Mercedes rival Nico Rosberg to win the 2014 drivers’ crown, in the process becoming only the fourth driver from Great Britain to win the world title more than once.

BBC Sports Personality Of The Year 2014 winner Lewis Hamilton [Picture: BBC / Andrew Farrell]BBC Sports Personality Of The Year 2014 winner Lewis Hamilton [Picture: BBC / Andrew Farrell]

He joined Jim Clark, Graham Hill and racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart in the pantheon of British motorsport after victory in Abu Dhabi.

Hamilton attended last night’s glitzy awards ceremony in Scotland with pet dog Roscoe, who stepped out onto the red carpet before the event.

After the show, Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) tweeted: “Thank you! #wewinandwelosetogether”

SPOTY runner-up Rory also took to Twitter to tweet: “Thanks to all who voted for me! Congrats to all the candidates and especially @LewisHamilton, thoroughly deserved and a worthy winner!”

Lewis Hamilton and dog Roscoe [Picture: BBC / Keiron McCarron]Lewis Hamilton and dog Roscoe [Picture: BBC / Keiron McCarron]

However, one of McIlroy’s Ryder Cup colleagues, Ian Poulter, wasn’t so happy at the result.

The professional golfer tweeted that McIlroy deserved to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2014 more than fellow Hertfordshire star Hamilton.

After the result was announced, Poulter tweeted: “Absolutely ridiculous that @McIlroyRory has not won Sports Personality 2014. Huge respect to @LewisHamilton but come on.”

He also tweeted: “.@BBCSPOTY has turned into a complete joke. It’s such a great shame. Huge congrats to @LewisHamilton, but he had 1 person to beat all year.”

From his Twitter handle @IanJamesPoulter, the golfer later added: “Relax folks I’m an F1 fan & go to some races & wanted Hamilton to win in AbuDhabi but I feel @McIlroyRory year was better. That’s my opinion

“As a fellow Stevenage boy who @LewisHamilton is, I have not disrespected him it’s my opinion & my vote. Both great champions, Mcilroy for me”

It is this year’s two favourites who head the betting for next year’s BBC Sports Personality gong.

Lewis Hamilton is 4/1 favourite for the 2015 prize, with Rory McIlroy 6/1. Andy Murray rounds off the top three in the betting at 8/1.

“We are pinning our hopes on the Cricket and Rugby World Cups, but should British hopes fall flat in both of these competitions, we could have a back-to-back winner for the first time in 60 years of the Sports Personality,” said William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly.

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