"Football is not a matter of life and death, it is more important than that."
SJA 2015Stuart attended the Sports Journalists' Association Annual Awards Lunch in early December and was delighted to see athletes win the top prizes, with Greg Rutherford voted Sportsman of the year and Jess Ennis-Hill Sportswoman.
Greg and Jess with Dinah
Jim Rosenthal with Dinah Asher SmithDinah, the first British woman to run under 11 seconds was awarded the SJA Pat Besford Award for the outstanding performance of the year.
Katherine Grainger received the Spirit of Sport awardGrainger said. “It was a genuine surprise to win an award as I didn’t think 2015 was my year to win anything!”
Sir Michael Parkinson accepted the Doug Gardner Award for services to the SJAThe citation included the statement: "We want to honour him with the Association's highest accolade, the Doug Gardner Award for services to sports journalism and to the Sports Journalists' Association. It is a most appropriate recipient, because he's made a huge contribution to sports writing and broadcasting, as well as a massive contribution to our Association".
The view from Stuart's seat
Little and Large: The Davis Cup and the Ashes
FULL LIST OF WINNERS
Sportsman of the Year
1, Greg Rutherford (Athletics)
2, Chris Froome (Cycling)
3, Lewis Hamilton (Motor racing)
Sportswoman of the Year
1, Jessica Ennis-Hill (Athletics)
2, Lizzie Armitstead (Cycling)
3, Lizzy Yarnold (Skeleton bob)
FULL LIST OF WINNERS
Team of the Year br Great Britain Davis Cup (Tennis)
The National Lottery Spirit of Sport Award: Katherine Grainger
SJA President’s Award: New Zealand Men’s Rugby
BT Sport JL Manning Award for services off the field of play: Andy Williamson (Football League)
SJA Committee Award: Alex Danson (Hockey)
SJA World Sport Achievement Award: Max Whitlock (Gymnastics)
SJA Bill McGowran Trophy for achievement in Paralympic sport: Ollie Hynd (Swimming); Jordanne Whiley (Tennis)
SJA Peter Wilson Trophy for international newcomer: Mark Wood (Cricket)
SJA Chairman’s Award: Alec Stewart
SJA Pat Besford Award for the outstanding performance of the year: Dina Asher Smith (Athletics)