Equestrian star Zara Phillips has emulated her mother, The Princess Royal, in being voted the BBC Sports Personality of The Year.
The 25-year-old, whose father Mark Phillips was an Olympic goal medallist in the same sport, finished ahead of runner-up Darren Clarke who was a Ryder Cup hero for Europe against America only a few weeks after the death of his wife Heather through cancer.
Phillips won the individual gold on Toytown in the three-day eventing competition at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen in Germany. She produced a near faultless performance over the three days of dressage, cross country and show jumping.
The Queen’s granddaughter also helped Great Britain claim the team silver and has become only the third rider to hold the European and World titles at the same time.
Phillips, whose partner is England rugby star Mike Tindall, won the world title in the aftermath of the death of her close friend Sherelle Duke at a horse trials in Brockenhurst a few days earlier.
She promised the family and Duke’s boyfriend that she would win the gold medal as a tribute to the Northern Ireland rider – and kept her word.
The Princess Royal won the coveted BBC award in 1971.
Runner-up Clarke won all three of his Ryder Cup matches – two fourballs and his singles clash against Zach Johnson – to help Europe win nine points.
He broke down in tears after holing his final putt on the 16th green to seal victory over Johnson.
In third spot was 21-year-old gymnast Beth Tweddle who bounced back from missing the Commonwealth games because of an ankle injury in superb style.
Tweddle became the first British gymnast to win a gold at the European Championships on the uneven bars and then surpassed that achievement by claiming Britain’s first ever gold medal at the World Championships in the same discipline.
The Overseas Personality Of The Year award was decided by the votes of the studio audience and they chose tennis star Roger Federer, who has won four successive Wimbledon singles titles.
He polled 59 per cent of the vote while 41 per cent opted for the world number one golfer Tiger Woods who, in 2006, overcame the death of his father to win the Open.
St Helens Rugby League side had double reason to celebrate with winning the Team Of The Year award while Saints supremo, Daniel Anderson, was chosen as Coach Of The Year as a result of their treble triumph.
They were the surprise winners ahead of the Ryder Cup team who had defeated the United States by a nine-point margin to lift the trophy for the third time in succession.
Saints defeated Huddersfield Giants 42-12 in the final of the Challenge Cup, lifted the League Leader’s Shield for topping the Super League and then defeated Hull 26-4 in the Super League final. In all, St Helens won 31 of their 35 matches.
They were the first rugby league winners of the team award since Wigan in 1994. Anderson had previously experienced great success with the New Zealand Warriors before taking charge of The Saints.
Swedish tennis legend Bjorn Borg won the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the sport – 25 years after winning the fifth of his Wimbledon singles titles.
The Helen Rollason award for courage and achievement went to snooker player Paul Hunter who died in October at the age of 27 after losing his battle against cancer.
Footballer Theo Walcott, who moved from Southampton to Arsenal 11 months ago for #12 million, was named the Young Personality Of The Year.
Comedian David Walliams was presented with a one-off award in recognition of his outstanding achievement of swimming the English Channel and raising over #1 million for Sport Relief.
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