Europe's Ryder Cup Team won the BBC Team of the Year award while Colin Montgomerie collected Coach of the Year during a wonderful evening for European golf.
The victorious European Ryder Cup Team, represented at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year show at the NEC Birmingham, England, by Captain Montgomerie along with Ross Fisher, Graeme McDowell and Lee Westwood, won the award, as voted for by a panel of Sports Editors, ahead of Chelsea Football Club and the England Cricket Team.
The prestigious award recognised the magnificent European 14 ½ to 13 ½ victory over the United States at The Celtic Manor Resort, Wales, in October.
Montgomerie said: “It is an honour to be here on behalf of the Team, 12 great, great men of golf. We had on that team Lee Westwood, the World Number One golfer, our US Open Champion Graeme McDowell and US PGA Champion Martin Kaymer.
“This is a fantastic award when you see the other contenders and we thank everyone for their support. We had our own terrific support with the backroom team and caddies, but most importantly, we had three times the number of people here this evening at Celtic Manor on that Monday. I want to thank every spectator who turned up and supported the team in Wales.”
There was more celebration as Montgomerie also won the Coach of the Year Award ahead of England Cricket Coach Andy Flower and Blackpool football manager Ian Holloway.
Montgomerie said: “It is again an honour to receive this on behalf of 12 fantastic players and the coaches for our team – Pete Cowen, Denis Pugh and Mark Roe. They are the unsung heroes, the coaches you don’t hear about but got our Team on form and prepared that little bit better than our opposition. This has been a fantastic year for European golf, and we have never been in ruder health. It is a privilege to be here this evening to receive this award on behalf of The European Tour.”
Two members of the Team, Graeme McDowell and Lee Westwood were also among the ten contenders for the individual BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award which was won by jockey AP McCoy.
The show got off to an inspirational start with golf leading the way with a celebration of Europe’s Ryder Cup victory.
Just as she did at The Celtic Manor Resort at The Ryder Cup opening ceremony, Katherine Jenkins welcomed European Captain Montgomerie and representatives of the victorious European Team as they brought Sam Ryder’s golden chalice to the stage.
And there was a special message from the legendary Seve Ballesteros, whose words on the eve of The Ryder Cup inspired every player in the European Team.
In a video message, he said: “Colin and every member of The European Ryder Cup Team, I want to congratulate you on a fantastic performance in Wales. You were brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. You don’t know how happy you made millions of people that weekend. I thank you and well done.”