England celebrate award double

Thu, 22 Dec 21:48:19 2011

England cricket team director Andy Flower has been named Coach of the Year at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards in Salford, with his Ashes winning side securing the Team of the Year award.

Flower guided England to a first Ashes win in Australia in more than 20 years last winter and to the top of the Test world rankings with a comprehensive series victory over India.

The Zimbabwean, who beat Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and Wales rugby coach Warren Gatland to the award, said: "This is a very proud moment for me to stand here, England has been very good to me and my family."

He added: "I'm very proud to be part of the England cricket team. They have done some wonderful things over the last couple of years.

"I think everyone in this room realises it's the players that make the hard decisions, play under pressure and have to deliver. It's great to have a good bunch of players and a good bunch of people to work with."

England's cricket achievements were also honoured with the Team of the Year award, which was collected by captain Andrew Strauss, also a nominee for the individual award.

He said: "This is a very special award for a couple of reasons. First there's so many great teams who have won this in the past. "But also if there's one thing we've all bought into it is the idea the team is more important that the individual. It's the real basis of why we've done well and makes it even more special to win this accolade."

Meanwhile, tennis world number one Novak Djokovic won the Overseas Sports Personality of the Year gong following a year in which he went 41 matches unbeaten and won the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.

The Unsung Hero Award was presented to husband and wife team Janice Eaglesham and Ian Mirfin, who founded and continue to run The Red Star Athletics Club in Glasgow for people with disabilities.


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