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BBC Sports Unsung Hero Award

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Title: BBC Sports Unsung Hero Award  
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Subject: BBC Sports Personality of the Year, BBC/Selected article/10, Unsung Heroes (disambiguation), BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards, BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year
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BBC Sports Unsung Hero Award

The BBC Sports Unsung Hero Award[1] is an award given annually as part of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony each December. The award is given to the sportsperson who has made a substantive yet unrecognised contribution to sport. Sportspeople are nominated by the public, and must be aged 16 years or over on 1 January that year. Nominees may not put themselves forward or be nominated by a member of their immediate family. A nominee must actively help others participate in a sport at any level on a voluntary basis. The work they do must not be part of their job or take part within their places of work, and they must not be a participant in the sporting group they are helping. Previous winners of the award are ineligible for nomination. One winner is selected from each of the twelve BBC English Regions, and the three national regions: BBC Scotland, BBC Wales, and BBC Northern Ireland. A judging panel then chooses the Unsung Hero winner from the fifteen regional winners.[2]

The inaugural winner in 2003 was 63-year-old Nobby Woodcock, for "his unstinting work with grassroots football in Wales".[3] Of the ten recipients to date, three were chosen for their contributions to football; the other recipients contributed towards boxing, basketball, athletics, swimming, and the Special Olympics. Three of the ten winners have been put forward from the BBC South region and two from the BBC East region. The other winners came from the BBC London, BBC West Midlands, BBC East Midlands, BBC Scotland and BBC Wales regions. The most recent award was presented in 2014 to Jill Stidever.


  • Winners 1
    • By year 1.1
    • By region 1.2
    • By sport 1.3
  • References 2


By year

BBC Sports Unsung Hero Award winners
Year Nationality Winner Location BBC Region Sport Rationale Note
2003  WAL Nobby Woodcock Newport, South Wales BBC Wales[4] Football for "his unstinting work with grassroots football in Wales".[5] [6]
2004  ENG Abdullah Ben-Kmayal Peckham, London BBC London[7] Football for his work with Bethwin Football Club, a club he founded and funded personally.[8] [9]
2005  ENG Trevor Collins Isle of Wight BBC South[10] Swimming for more than 25 years work in administration and coaching at the West Wight Swimming Club.[10] [11]
2006  ENG Val Hanover Oswestry, Shropshire BBC West Midlands[12] Special Olympics for spending nearly 30 years organising Special Olympics for thousands of people with learning difficulties in North Shropshire.[13] [14]
2007  ENG Margaret Simons Bicester, Oxfordshire BBC South[15] Football for over 40 years of work with Bardwell FC, a community football team that she originally founded in 1964.[16] [17]
2008  ENG Ben Geyser Dorchester, Dorset BBC South[18] Boxing for setting up three boxing clubs, and campaigning for a permanent home for the Dorchester Amateur Boxing Club.[19] [20]
2009  ENG Doreen Adcock Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire BBC East[21] Swimming for teaching "over 13,000 people to swim in the town over the last 35 years".[22] [22]
2010  ENG Lance Haggith Bedfordshire BBC East[23] Basketball for providing children of differing abilities coaching in basketball.[24] [25]
2011  SCO Janice Eaglesham & Ian Mirfin Scotland BBC Scotland[26] Athletics for providing coaching to disabled athletes.[27] [28]
2012  ENG Sue & Jim Houghton Leicester BBC East Midlands[29] Various for transforming a derelict Leicestershire sports ground into a popular community facility for tennis, squash, association football, bowls and dance.[30] [31]
2013  ENG Joe & Maggie Forber Manchester BBC North Basketball recognised regionally for their hard work at the Amaechi Basketball Centre in Whalley Range. [32]
2014  ENG Jill Stidever Hinckley, Leicestershire BBC East Midlands Swimming for nearly 60 years' work helping children with special needs learn to swim. [33]

By region

This table lists the total number of awards won by the BBC Region through which the recipient qualified for the award.

Winners by region
Nationality Number of wins
BBC South 3
BBC East 2
BBC East Midlands 2
BBC London 1
BBC North 1
BBC Scotland 1
BBC Wales 1
BBC West Midlands 1

By sport

This table lists the total number of awards won by the sport the recipient contributed towards.

Winners by sport
Sport of contribution Number of wins
Football 3
Swimming 3
Basketball 2
Athletics 1
Boxing 1
Special Olympics 1
Various 1



  • "Sports Personality Of The Year: more winners". BBC. December 2007. Retrieved 12 January 2009. 


  1. ^ "Nominate your BBC Sports Unsung Hero". BBC Press Office. BBC. 28 August 2007. Retrieved 6 February 2009. 
  2. ^ "Sports Personality voting & judging: Terms & conditions".  
  3. ^ "Nobby named unsung hero".  
  4. ^ "Cooke wins BBC honour".  
  5. ^ "Nobby named unsung hero".  
  6. ^ Norton, Charlie (15 December 2003). "Wilkinson and Redgrave scoop top BBC awards".  
  7. ^ "BBC London Sports Awards – Unsung Heroes 2005".  
  8. ^ "BBC Sports Personality: The winners".  
  9. ^ White, Jim (13 January 2007). "Unsung hero restoring order to chaotic lives".  
  10. ^ a b "Swimming coach secures BBC prize".  
  11. ^ "Let's follow Trevor's example to save our pools.".  
  12. ^ "Unsung hero wins". Tesco Magazine.  
  13. ^ "Val's a winner". BBC Shropshire. BBC. 11 December 2006. Retrieved 23 January 2009. 
  14. ^ Corrigan, James (11 December 2006). "Phillips is surprise winner of top Sports Personality award".  
  15. ^ "Unsung Hero 2008".  
  16. ^ "Unsung sporting heroes".  
  17. ^ "Bardwell football founder named unsung hero".  
  18. ^ "BBC nomination is a ‘fitting tribute’ for Geyser".  
  19. ^ "Boxing club hero wins Unsung 2008".  
  20. ^ "Geyser’s accolade can inspire next generation".  
  21. ^ "Edwards is East Sports Personality 2009".  
  22. ^ a b "Swimming teacher Doreen Adcock wins BBC Unsung award".  
  23. ^ "BBC East Sports Unsung Hero 2010 winner announced".  
  24. ^ "David Beckham sheds tear on getting Life prize".  
  25. ^ "Basketball coach wins BBC award".  
  26. ^ "BBC Scotland Sports Unsung Hero 2011 winners announced". BBC News. 30 November 2011. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  27. ^ Holehouse, Matthew (22 December 2011). "Mark Cavendish named BBC Sports Personality of the Year".  
  28. ^ "BBC Sport – Sports Personality of the Year 2011: Scots duo win Unsung Hero award". BBC News. Retrieved 22 December 2011. 
  29. ^ "Sue and Jim Houghton win East Midlands Unsung Hero Award".  
  30. ^ "BBC Sports Personality of the Year in pictures".  
  31. ^ "BBC Sport – Sports Personality of the Year 2012: Sports Personality: Sue & Jim Houghton win Unsung Hero Award". BBC Sport. Retrieved 19 December 2012. 
  32. ^ "Basketball-loving couple earn SPOTY acclaim as Unsung Heroes". Manchester Evening News (Manchester Evening News). 15 December 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  33. ^ "Sports Personality: Swimming coach named Unsung Hero". BBC. 14 December 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2015. 
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