England and Arsenal striker Beth Mead has been voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2022.
Mead played this summer at Euro 2022, where she helped the Lionesses to glory at Wembley, England’s first-ever major women’s football trophy.
The 27-year-old becomes the first female footballer to win the award.
In a public vote, England Tests captain Ben Stokes finished second and Eve Muirhead, who led the British team to curling gold at the Winter Olympics, came third.
Athlete Jake Wightman, seven-time world snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan and gymnast Jessica Gadirova have also been shortlisted for the award.
“I’m speechless for once,” Mead said.
“I’m incredibly honored to win this award. I wouldn’t have done it without the girls. The team supported me. Yes, I won this honour, I scored a few goals but I wouldn’t have done without them,” she added.
“It’s for women’s sport and women’s sport is going in the right direction. Let’s keep pushing the girls, let’s keep doing the right thing.”
Mead’s outstanding performances at Euro 2022 saw her named Player of the Tournament and winning the Golden Boot with six goals and five assists.
Mead also won the Sports Personality Team of the Year award alongside her Lionesses teammates while England head coach Sarina Wiegman won the Coach of the Year award.
The accolades are the latest in a long list this year where Mead has already been named Arsenal’s Player of the Season for 2021-22, finished second in the Women’s Ballon d’Or and won the Women’s Footballer award at the year of the BBC.
His international goal tally for the 2021-22 campaign was 20 from 19 appearances, beating Jimmy Greaves’ long-standing record for most England goals in a season.
Mead’s incredible year to remember
Having been left out of Team GB’s squad for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Mead’s success is all the more remarkable.
She scored in four of England’s six Euro matches, including a hat-trick against Norway in the group stage, beating Germany’s Alex Popp to the Golden Boot.
She also helped England qualify for next year’s World Cup with a 100% record and without conceding a single goal.
The Euros was a first major trophy for the Lionesses and the first for a senior England side since the men won the 1966 World Cup.
Domestically, Mead was in superb form for his club Arsenal ahead of the tournament, scoring 14 goals and providing 19 assists in 40 appearances in the 2021-22 campaign as the Gunners came dreadfully close to a first. Women’s Super League title since 2019 but finished second behind Chelsea by one point.
Mead’s 2022-23 campaign was shaping up to be just as prolific, but was cut short after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury against Manchester United in November, casting doubt on his hopes of playing at next year’s World Cup. in Australia and New Zealand.
Hosted by Gary Lineker, Clare Balding, Gabby Logan and Alex Scott, the 2022 Sports Personality of the Year was streamed live from MediaCityUK, Salford.
Other 2022 Sports Personality winners
Helen Rollason Award: Rob Burrow
Coach of the Year: Sarina Wiegman
Team of the Year: England Women
Young Sports Personality of the Year: Jessica Gadirov
Achievement for life: Usain Bolt
Unsung Hero: Mike Alden
World Sports Star: Lionel Messi