Home Editor Picks Beth Mead wins BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2022 on a historic night for women’s sport

Beth Mead wins BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2022 on a historic night for women’s sport

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Beth Mead wins BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2022 on a historic night for women’s sport

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By Tom Garry, in Salford

Beth Mead says women’s sport is heading in the right direction after being crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 2022 on a historic night for British women’s sport which saw female winners for the team, coach and young personality awards all in the same year for the first time.

European Championship Golden Boot-winning forward Mead is the first women’s footballer to take the top prize, but says she has her fingers crossed that she “won’t be the last”. Her victory saw the trophy go to a female athlete for a second year running for the first time in half a century, after tennis star Emma Raducanu’s win in 2021. The Spoty prize had not been won by women in consecutive years since Princess Anne’s 1971 triumph was backed up by athletics’ Mary Peters in 1972.

England Test cricket captain Ben Stokes came second, with Team GB’s curling heroine Eve Muirhead voted in third, with an emotional Mead, whose mother is suffering from cancer, fighting off tears midway through her acceptance speech when thanking her family. Speaking to reporters afterwards she said: “We are quite a soft family inside and it comes out emotionally. They have done so much for me. Yes I can dedicate [this award] to them, but it will still never feel like enough for what they have done for me.”

The Arsenal forward smiled as she said that she can “die happy” after winning the public vote, adding: “I still find it quite surreal. I’m Beth Mead, I kick a bag of air around a football pitch. It is quite humbling.

“Women’s sport is heading in the right direction and that’s where we want it to continue to head. You look at the podium tonight, there are two women there. It is incredible how far football has come – cricket, rugby, curling, gymnastics. We want to keep pushing that even more for the next generation.”

The award for Team of the Year went to England women’s football team following their Euros success, and their Dutch manager Sarina Wiegman, who is yet to lose a game after 15 months in the job, becomes the first woman to win the coach award.

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