VETERAN LIFTS AWARD

Giggs scoops Sports Personality of the Year gong

December 13, 2009

Ryan Giggs has been named BBC sports personality of the year for 2009 after beating the favourite, Formula One champion Jenson Button, to the award.

Ryan Giggs
EmpicsRyan Giggs is howing no signs of slowing at 36.

The 36-year-old Manchester United winger is the most decorated player in English football history and in May won a record 11th Premier League winners' medal.

Button, 29, like Lewis Hamilton a year ago, may have won the world drivers' championship but had to settle for second place on the rostrum behind Giggs. Jessica Ennis, the 23-year-old from Sheffield who won gold in the heptathlon at the World Athletics championships in the summer, finished third.

"Perhaps I've become more appreciated as I have got older," said Giggs. "It's unusual for a 36-year-old to be playing with a team like Manchester United for 20 years but I am enjoying it and long may it continue.

"I am playing for the greatest manager that has ever lived and I'm playing for the greatest club. I grew up watching this programme. To see the people that have won it and to be here is unbelievable."

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson revealed on Friday that Giggs will be offered a new contract for next season and he added: "It was the first I had heard of it the other day so I was quite pleased. My contract ends at the end of the year but hopefully there will be another year after that."

Fabio Capello was named coach of the year after the Italian guided England to qualification for the World Cup in a near-faultless campaign. He said: "I am very proud to win this award but I want to share with my staff, with all the people that work with me, with all the players that will be with me in South Africa."