England and Arsenal winger Beth Mead has won BBC Sports Personality of the Year after winning the Women’s Euro and Golden Boot tournament in 2022.
The 27-year-old, who becomes the first female footballer to win the award, scored six goals as the Lionesses lifted their first major trophy this summer, beating Germany 2-1 at Wembley in extra time to claim the Euros 2022. She was also chosen as the UEFA Player of the Tournament.
She has also been in fine form for Arsenal, pulling off a stunning turnaround for the winger after being left out of Team GB’s squad for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
However, she ruptured her ACL in Arsenal’s WSL loss to Manchester United three weeks ago and now faces a race to be fit for next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. -Zealand.
Mead, who recently signed a new contract with the Gunnerswon the BBC public poll ahead of England Test cricket captain Ben Stokes, who finished second, and Olympic curling champion Eve Muirhead, who came third.
Other nominees on the six-person shortlist were gymnast Jessica Gadirova, world 1,500 meters champion Jake Wightman and seven-time world snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan.
An emotional Mead said: “I am incredibly honored to win this award.
“I wouldn’t have made it without those girls there and the team that supported me. Yes, I have that distinction, I did my job, I scored a few goals but I didn’t wouldn’t have done without them.
“And I certainly wouldn’t have done it without my mom, my dad and my whole family.
“But above all, it’s for women’s sport, and for women’s sport going in the right direction. So let’s keep pushing the girls and keep doing the right thing.”
Gunners manager Jonas Eidevall tweeted his congratulations to their star winger following their 9-1 win at FC Zurich in the Women’s Champions League on Wednesday night.
He wrote: “To be successful in a team sport takes a lot. Not only do you have to be good individually, but you also need others to want you to succeed. I’m proud of you [Beth]! Well done!”
Eidevall also said the winning sports personality was a reflection of Mead’s quality.
“She has had an extraordinary year in difficult circumstances that we are all aware of,” he added. “As I said in the fall of 2021, Beth Mead is so good.
“It becomes so clear when you see her in training every day.
“That’s why I’m confident that she can come back in a very good condition because she’s such a good football player.
“I’m very happy for her to be able to show it and she’s been able to show it in a way that she is as a person. How positive and caring she is and I think that’s inspirational for the people.”
Mead’s success makes her the 13th individual winner of the award, with Jayne Torvill also claiming it as part of her ice dancing partnership with Christopher Dean in 1984. She is also only the sixth footballer to win the award in 68 years of history.
Her victory completed a hat-trick of awards for the Lionesses on the night, as the side were voted Team of the Year for their Euro triumph, with Sarina Wiegman receiving the Coach of the Year award.
Wiegman only started his tenure in charge of the England team in September 2021, having led his home country, the Netherlands, to the same title in 2017.
Lionesses midfielder Jill Scott, who announced her retirement from football shortly after the tournament and won I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here earlier this month, said: “The thought that this Christmas there will be little girls asking for a pair of football boots and embarking on their own journey, and it will be considered normal, it will make us the happiest.”
Analysis: Mead’s sensational rise topped with SPOTY award
Charlotte Swamp from Sky Sports:
“If you asked Mead a year ago what her predictions for 2022 would be, she might have struggled to name even half of the incredible moments she’s had in the last 12 months.
“The year 2021 will no doubt be remembered for its Olympic disappointment. But 2022 has often been dubbed the ‘Beth Mead Revenge Tour’ – and the music finally hit its crescendo with a well-deserved Sports Personality Award from year of the BBC.
“Winning the Euros in July will always be the pinnacle of the year. A first major title for the Lionesses, the first major trophy won by a senior English side since 1966 and won in front of a sold-out Wembley against the old enemy in Germany Football fairy tales don’t come much better.
“Mead was one of the Lionesses’ breakout stars. Her six goals and five assists took her to the Golden Boot, scoring half of England’s goals at the tournament, as well as being named Player of the Tournament She went on to earn her 50th England cap in November and at 27 she could easily reach her centenary.
“It was a mix of Jonas Eidevall and Sarina Wiegman management that ultimately saw Mead fulfill her potential. She was directly involved in 37 goals in 23 appearances under the Dutch manager, and she was just as effective for Arsenal .
“She has scored 10 goals and registered eight assists in WSL games in 2022, racking up 61 shots while making 35 tackles, showing how effective she can be in other areas of her game.
“Unfortunately, it will still be a while before we see Mead light up the pitch again. An ACL injury picked up a few weeks ago has certainly ruled her out for much of the season, making her touch and leave for the World Cup next summer.
“But there’s no denying that the most recent award in his trophy cabinet is the perfect way to cap off a sensational rise with no doubt that Mead will come back even stronger in 2023.”