Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award for 2009 on Sunday.
Giggs, who has made a club record 821 appearances for United and won more trophies than any other player in English football, took the award ahead of Formula One world champion Jenson Button. Heptathlon world champion Jessica Ennis came third.
“That was a big shock,” the 36-year-old former Welsh international told the audience, before singling out United and its manager Alex Ferguson for praise.
“I’ve been lucky enough to win a lot of things in my career and to play under the greatest manager who ever lived and for the greatest club,” he said.
Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt won the overseas trophy, while the team award went to England’s cricketers following their Ashes victory over Australia.
Spanish golfing great Seve Ballesteros, who is recovering from surgery on a brain tumour, won a Lifetime Achievement award and spoke via a TV link from his home.
Giggs had been training at local rival Manchester City’s school of excellence until Ferguson famously made a personal visit to the teenager’s home on his 14th birthday, offering him the chance to sign schoolboy forms for United.
He turned professional in 1990, made his debut the following year and went on to win 11 Premier League titles, two Champions League titles in 1999 and 2008, four FA Cups, three League Cups, one Intercontinental Cup and one Club World Cup. He has scored 151 goals for the club.
Widely respected throughout the English game for his sportsmanship, he is the first footballer to win the trophy since former United team mate David Beckham in 2001.