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Flintoff is British sports personality

December 12, 2005 10:34 IST

Ashes hero Andrew Flintoff became the first cricketer in 24 years to be voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday.

The all-rounder had been favourite to win the award after his exploits in the five-Test series against Australia helped England seal their first Ashes triumph in almost two decades.

Andrew FlintoffAfter receiving the award in Lahore from Ian Botham, the last cricketer to win the accolade, a bleary-eyed Flintoff told the audience via a live satellite link: "To receive it from Ian makes it all the more sweeter as he was my hero.

"Being involved in the Ashes this summer was a great thrill. To play in them was one thing but to be involved in a side which beat the Australians in England and the way in which the public got behind us was great," added Flintoff, who is due to play a one-day

match against Pakistan on Monday morning.

Flintoff took 24 wickets and scored 402 runs during the Ashes series. England captured the team of the year prize for their 2-1 Test win against the world champions.

Australian leg spinner Shane Warne, who took 40 wickets during the series despite ending up on the losing side, was named overseas personality of the year.

Other Awards:

Young Personality of the Year: Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (Athletics)

Lifetime Achievement Award: Pele (soccer)

Coach of the Year: Jose Mourinho (soccer, Chelsea)

Special Award: Sebastian Coe (for successfully leading London's bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games)
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