Tennis star Andy Murray may have picked up the coveted BBC Sports Personality of the Year award last night, but it was Yorkshire’s Bailey Matthews and Lizzie Jones who stole the show.
Eight-year-old Bailey, who suffers from cerebral palsy, shot to fame when a video of him completing his first triathlon unaided was posted on The Yorkshire Post website earlier this year.
Despite stumbling twice on his way to the finish line, he picked himself up and ran the final 20m of the course without his walking frame.
The video of him abandoning his walking aid to cross the finish line was eventually viewed on Facebook more than 27 million times.
Last night he was presented with the Helen Rollason Award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year show and received a standing ovation from the huge audience full of sporting royalty. The award is in memory of the BBC presenter who died of cancer in 1999.
As he walked up to receive the award, Bailey’s smile lit up the arena... and his one-liners brought the house down.
Matthews said: “I think you can stop cheering now… Sport is amazing. Five triathlons next.”
The award was presented at the SSE Arena in Belfast by double Olympic swimming champion Becky Adlington and One Direction singer Niall Horan.
Matthews, from Doncaster, competed in the children’s event at Castle Howard in North Yorkshire in July, swimming 100m, riding a bike for 4km and running for 1.3km.
It was also an emotional night for Mrs Jones, the widow of former Halifax and Keighley Cougars rugby league player Danny Jones who died while playing for his club earlier this season.
Mrs Jones, who sang at this year’s Challenge Cup Final, gave a stunning rendition of ‘Danny Boy’ over a montage of much-loved sporting names who have died during the last year.
Her bravery and talent shone out on a night when Andy Murray won the overall award but was chased all the way by Yorkshire-based duo Kevin Sinfield (2nd) and Jessica Ennis (3rd)