TEARY Beth Mead ditched the crutches as she was crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 2022 – the SIXTH footballer in 68 years to win the prestigious trophy.
Football came home this summer as England Women historically beat Germany 2-1 in extra-time in the Euro 2022 final.
Though she did not score in that Wembley showpiece, Mead was the vital component, top-scoring with six goals and assisting five to be named Player of the Tournament.
Mead, 27, arrived at the BBC Salford HQ tonight using a set of crutches for the red carpet because she is rehabbing after season-ending knee surgery.
But bravely she hobbled on to stage unaided as she was voted by the British public the star performer of the year ahead of cricketer Ben Stokes and curler Eve Muirhead.
The Arsenal striker – whose mum has terminal cancer – said: “I’m incredibly honoured to win this award.
“I wouldn’t have done it without those girls, who backed me.
“Yes, I did my job and scored a few goals but I wouldn’t have done it without them, my mum, dad and all of my family.
“This is for women’s sport and for it heading in the right direction. So, let’s keep pushing the girls and keep doing the right things.
“The girls are like a family away from home and when things at home haven’t been great, they supported me so well.”
FREE BETS AND SIGN UP DEALS – BEST NEW CUSTOMER OFFERS
The Whitby ace has followed in the footsteps of fellow football stars Bobby Moore (1966), Paul Gascoigne (1990), Michael Owen (1998), David Beckham (2001) and Ryan Giggs (2009).
Crocked Mead is a big doubt for next year’s women’s World Cup finals in Australia and New Zealand due to her ruptured ACL.
Her partner Vivianne Miedema – a Holland footballer – is also sidelined with a similar serious knee injury until late next year.
Mead joked: “I got three weeks sympathy and then she thought she would join it. That wasn’t ideal. There are a few crutches around our house at the moment!”
Second place overall went to cricketer Stokes, who has won nine out of ten Tests as new captain and had a starring role as England beat Pakistan in the T20 World Cup final in Melbourne.
Yet having just returned home from a triumphant Pakistan Test tour, Stokes, 31, was laid low on the sofa with a “stomach bug”.
Third place went to Olympic gold medal-winning curler Muirhead – while Jessica Gadirova (gymnastics), Ronnie O’Sullivan (snooker) and Jake Wightman (athletics) were the other nominees.
The Lionesses scooped a hat-trick of top awards at the annual shindig as they were named Team of the Year and then Dutchwoman Sarina Wiegman was awarded Coach of the Year.
There was great controversy that golfer Matt Fitzpatrick – the winner of the US Open at Brookline – was omitted from the six-person top shortlist.
And during rehearsals on Wednesday morning, host Gary Lineker fuelled the fire by tweeting an “embarrassed” emoji that the Sheffield star, 28, had been overlooked.
In an emotionally-charged moment, rugby league legend Rob Burrow – who has Motor Neurone Disease – received the inspirational Helen Rollason Award.
His former Leeds Rhinos team-mate Kevin Sinfield – who is the new England rugby union defence coach – was given a ‘Special’ trophy for his magnificent £7milllion fundraising efforts.
Superstar Lionel Messi will get the World Sport Star of the Year trophy at some point but then he is quite busy partying in Buenos Aires at present following Argentine’s stunning World Cup triumph.
Eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt – who has retired from sprinting – was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award aged 36.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who died in September aged 96, was commemorated for her love and involvement in horseracing.
Entertainment/ 1 month ago
Nigerian Singer Iyanya spills on why he is still single
Nigerian singer, Onoyom Mbuk better known as Iyanya, has revealed why he is yet...
Love & Relationship/ 1 month ago
Some men prefer monkey that gives them peace of mind – Janemena
Nigerian dancer and social media influencer, Usiwo Orezinena Jane, aka Janemena, has warned women...
English Premier League/ 1 month ago
EPL: Michael Owen identifies area Man Utd must improve to challenge Arsenal, Man City
Former Manchester United striker, Michael Owen, has revealed that his former club needs to...