Ben Stokes wins 2019 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award

England v Australia - 3rd Specsavers Ashes Test: Day Four

Ben Stokes has been crowned the 2019 BBC Sports Personality of the Year after a fantastic year with England.

The cricketer finished ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Dina Asher-Smith to become the fifth cricketer to ever win the award.

Stokes follows in the footsteps of Jim Laker (1956), David Steele (1975), Ian Botham (1981) and Andrew Flintoff (2005) as the only cricketers to win it after a spectacular summer.

Earlier in the evening, host Gary Lineker had let slip Stokes' success.

Lineker introduced the 28-year-old as the "main award winner", after previously referring to Stokes' competitors Raheem Sterling and Alun Wyn Jones as "contenders".

“Obviously winning the World Cup was the pinnacle of the year," Stokes said before the ceremony.

"To be involved in something like that is hard to describe. We will always be able to look back on it as players.

“Australia managed to retain the Ashes but we still had a lot to play for - pride being a main thing and obviously not wanting to lose to Australia.

New Zealand v England - ICC Cricket World Cup Final 2019

"No Englishman wants to lose to Australia! Coming out with a draw topped off a summer which will be very memorable.

“Even just to be recognised and nominated [for this award] is special. When I saw the video of Ed Sheeran announcing it, that alone was just incredible. It’s a great night.”

Here's the lowdown on the six candidates.

Dina Asher-Smith

British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith enjoyed a phenomenal year.

The 24-year-old collected three medals at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, including a gold in the 200m.

Asher-Smith’s 200m final time of 21.88 seconds smashed her own national record.

With silver medals in the 100m and 4x100m, Asher-Smith will be eyeing more glory at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 - Day Six

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton established himself as the greatest driver of his generation after winning a sixth Formula One world championship.

Nobody could keep up with him, including his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Hamilton has now won five titles in six years and it was impressive to see him win races even when his car wasn’t the quickest in the field.

F1 Grand Prix of USA

Katarina Johnson-Thompson

Katarina Johnson-Thompson put questions about her character to bed with a brilliant year.

The 26-year-old’s move to France to train with new coach Bertrand Valcin has transformed her into an athlete who knows how to win and she put it together at the European Indoor Championships and the World Championships, where she won golds.

The Liverpool-born heptathlete recorded four personal bests at the World Championships and set a British record with 6,981 points, the sixth-best heptathlon performance of all-time.

2019 is the year KJT learned how to become a champion.

17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 - Day Six

Alun Wyn Jones

At the age of 34, Wales’s captain arrived at the Rugby World Cup as one of the oldest players there.

But nobody made more tackles than his Jones’ 79 as he led Wales to the last four.

He also starred for Wales in their Six Nations Grand Slam and showed what he’s all about when he draped his tracksuit top around a freezing young Wales mascot before the final against Ireland.

Wales v Fiji - Rugby World Cup 2019: Group D

Raheem Sterling

The Manchester City man would probably be on this list for his sporting achievements alone.

Raheem Sterling completed a domestic treble with Man City and was named Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year.

Sterling has carried on his form into the 2019/20 campaign and can claim to be on the best players in the world.

But what sets Sterling apart is the courage he has shown in the fight against racism.

The 25-year-old has spoken publicly about the issue that has plagued football and society this year, questioning the media’s role in the fight and shining a light on matters such as unconscious bias.

He’s been a role model for millions.

Chelsea v Manchester City - Carabao Cup Final

Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes’ heroics in the summer will be remembered for many years to come.

That stunning innings at Headingley in the Ashes was a truly remarkable feat in which one man triumphed against an entire team.

He had earlier captivated cricket fans all around the country with his efforts in England’s World Cup victory over New Zealand at Lord’s.

An entire generation will have been inspired to pick up the bat all because of Stokes.

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