Updated: Sunday, 22 Dec 2013 01:17 | Comments
Jockey Tony McCoy has been crowned the RTÉ Sports Person of the Year for 2013.
McCoy, who rode a 4,000th jumps winner in Ireland and Britain in November, was presented his award by Irish Sports Council chief executive John Treacy.
After over a quarter of a century in the saddle and 18 consecutive champion jockey titles, the Moneyglass man has now turned his attention to the 5,000 winner landmark.
The 39-year-old, who claimed the BBC Sport version of the prize in 2010 and finished third in this year’s instalment, fought off stiff opposition from Rob Heffernan, Martyn Irvine, Tony Kelly, Michael Darragh Macauley, Michael McKillop, Annalise Murphy, Joseph O’Brien, Jason Quigley, Jonathan Sexton and Jason Smyth to lift the prize.
“It’s great, it’s a fantastic honour,” said McCoy after it was announced before going on to tell Darragh Maloney and the
McCoy, who recorded winner 4000 with a typically determined ride on board Mountain Tunes at Towcester on 7 November, told host Darragh Maloney: “It’s great, it’s a fantastic honour.”
The weighing room veteran was keen to pay tribute to his fellow nominees. “Any one of them would be a very worthy winner,” he insisted.
Clare’s hurlers received the RTÉ Sports Team of the Year gong and manager Davy Fitzgerald landed the RTÉ Sports Manager of the Year award after guiding his young charges to victory in the All-Ireland SFC final replay against Cork.
Fitzgerald has been instrumental in three of the Banner County’s four All-Ireland triumphs, having won titles as a player in 1995 and 1997.
Former Republic of Ireland international Paul McGrath was inducted into the RTÉ Sports Awards Hall of Fame.
The cultured defender, who enjoyed long stints with both Manchester United and Aston Villa, cited the 1990 World Cup as a career highlight.