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Manchester United’s Mary Earps wins BBC Sports Personality of the Year, but rivals City land another 2023 treble

Mary Earps was crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2023 last night in front of a star-studded audience at Salford’s dock10 Studio and viewers at home watching live on BBC One and iPlayer.

Stuart Broad came second and Katarina Johnson-Thompson took third place for the prestigious award.

Earps was England’s standout player this year, as they reached the Women’s World Cup final for the first time. She played every minute of their seven matches, conceding only four goals and keeping three clean sheets, which helped her win the World Cup’s Golden Glove award.

Earps had already been voted England Women’s Player of the Year for 2022-2023 and finished fifth in the voting for the Ballon d’Or award. The reigning FIFA Best Women’s Goalkeeper was also integral as England won the inaugural Women’s Finalissima with a penalty shoot-out defeat of Brazil in April.

In domestic football she claimed the Women’s Super League Golden Glove for the 2022-23 season with Manchester United.

Earps said: “I’m very honoured and humbled. For me, I feel like this is the ultimate all round sporting accolade. And I think us as Lionesses and obviously United as well, we’ve had an incredible couple of years. This is just wow. It’s not been the easiest journeys and I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without a number of incredible people in my corner. So finally, I just want to say thank you to them.”

Erling Haaland was awarded World Sport Star of the Year after his goals helped Manchester City claim their historic treble. Haaland’s individual awards for the season included both the Premier League’s Player and Young Player of the Season, the Football Writers’ Association’s Footballer of the Year, the Uefa Men’s Player of the Year and the Gerd Muller Trophy at the Ballon d’Or awards for best goalscorer – where he also came second in the voting for best player.

He claimed the Premier League’s Golden Boot with a record 36 goals in 38 games, and his 52 goals in all competitions was the most by a Premier League player within a season.

In further success for Haaland’s Club Manchester City, the team took home BBC Sport’s Personality’s Team of the Year. In 2023, the team lifted the Premier League title, FA Cup and Champions League trophies, becoming just the eighth European side to do so and just the second from England after neighbours Manchester United in 1998-99.

In lifting the title for a third successive season they joined Huddersfield Town, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United (twice) as the only English top-flight sides to do so.

Completing a second 2023 treble for City, Pep Guardiola was named Coach of the Year for overseeing their historic success. As well as their securing a first-ever treble, Guardiola also led them to a maiden UEFA Super Cup triumph, making him the first manager to lift the trophy with three different clubs. It was the 15th piece of silverware he’s won since taking over at the Etihad Stadium just seven years ago, and the 37th of his managerial career.

The Catalan also won this year’s Premier League Manager of the Season, the LMA Manager of the Year, the LMA Premier League Manager of the Year and the Uefa Men’s Coach of the Year awards.

Moving away from football, and Manchester (just), BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year went to Cheshire’s Mia Brookes, who became the youngest world champion in snowboarding history just over a month after turning 16. In winning gold she became the first female snowboarder to land a Cab 1440 in a competition and the first British athlete to win a world title in the slopestyle discipline. She achieved all of this while studying for and sitting her GCSE’s and has since gone on to secure the overall freestyle snowboard World Cup Big Air title, still aged 16.

Desmond Smith, from Yorkshire, was the winner of the Unsung Hero award. After emigrating to Sheffield from the Caribbean in the 1960s, he made it his life’s mission to support the people within his community and in 1986 he launched the Sheffield Caribbean Sports Club. What started out as a safe haven for a handful of young people has now evolved into an all-inclusive sports club supporting five cricket teams, eight junior football sides, and has over 40 young people attending the venue to train up to four times a week in either football, cricket, hockey or netball.

Liverpool legend Sir Kenny Dalglish was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement award for a career which saw him win three European Cups and six league titles as a player at Anfield, as well as many prestigious individual honours. Internationally, he played in three World Cups and is still Scotland’s record men’s appearance maker with 102 caps and joint record scorer with Denis Law on 30 goals.

Dalglish later transitioned into a player-manager role, guiding Liverpool to a league and cup double in his first season in charge, cementing his status as one of the most successful figures in football history. Further trophies followed before he went on to manage Blackburn Rovers, taking them from the Second Division to a memorable Premier League title within just four years.

The Helen Rollason Award was a rare Southern success, presented to legendary British athlete Fatima Whitbread. Abandoned as a baby, Whitbread spent the first fourteen years of her life living in children’s homes before she was adopted by Margaret Whitbread, a local javelin coach. Whitbread fell in love with the sport and with her mum as her coach she rose to the top of her profession, becoming world champion in 1987 and a double Olympic medallist.

Since retiring from athletics she has dedicated her time to various charities, helping children who had a similar experience to her and providing assistance and guidance to those leaving the care sector.

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