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Princess Royal attends BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards

Ben Stokes was named as the 2019 BBC Sports Personality of the Year yesterday in an awards ceremony attended by HRH Princess Anne. The televised ceremony was held at the P&J Live Arena in Aberdeen where along with Denis Law, a former Manchester United and Scotland footballer, Princess Anne presented the Sports Personality of the Year trophy to Stokes.

The annual event, which this year was hosted by Gary Lineker, Gabby Logan and Clare Balding, recognises sporting excellence and achievement by individuals and teams across a wide range of sports and categories. ‘The Sports Personality of the Year’ title is voted for by the public, with Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton finishing in second place and sprinter Dina Asher-Smith finishing third. Others in the shortlist included Wales Rugby player Alun Wyn-Jones, heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson and footballer Raheem Sterling. Paralympic athlete Baroness Tanni Grey – Thompson was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Ben Stokes is the first cricketer to win the title since 2005 when Andrew Flintoff was voted into first place. During the summer of this year, Stokes was a crucial part of the England team who won the Cricket World Cup in a match against New Zealand at Lord’s, where he was declared ‘man of the match’ and he also scored an unbeaten 135 ‘not out’ in the Ashes test win against Australia at Headingly.

The Princess Royal, who is the President of Scotland’s Rugby Union and a patron of MND Scotland, also presented the Helen Rollason Award to Scotland Rugby International Doddie Weir, who was diagnosed with motor-neurone disease in 2016. Since then, Weir has raised £5 million pounds for research into the disease.

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The Sports Personality of the Year Awards is closely associated with Princess Anne, who was awarded the title in 1971 after winning the European Eventing Championship at Burghley. The title was also awarded to Zara Phillips (now Tindall) in 2006 after she won the Eventing World Championship in Aachen. Zara is the most recent female recipient of the Sports Personality Award, and after being presented with the title, won a silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games, held in London.

You can read more about the Princess’s work with MND Scotland here.