Shock win as Mo Farah collects his first Sports Personality of Year award

Sir Mo Farah has pulled off a surprise win to collect the Sports Personality of the Year award for the first time.

The four-time Olympic gold medallist was between 25 and 50-1 against at the bookies, with heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua as much as 1-12 odds-on favourite.

Sir Mo was third favourite going into the live BBC event, but went on to win the famous award for the first time.

His previous best finish in the public vote was third in 2011.

The long-distance star was not at the ceremony because one of his children is ill, so appeared by video feed.

“I didn’t see that coming. I honestly thought I wasn’t going to win it,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“We have such amazing sports in the UK with people doing great Lewis Hamilton, Jonnie Peacock and Anthony Joshua.

“I thought my closest would be after London 2012. I guess anything can happen.

“It means a lot to win this. I am very surprised to win tonight and I’m just sorry I can’t be there to celebrate.”

Farah’s track swansong, at the World Championships in London in the summer, did not go quite to plan – at least by his own stellar standards. He won the 10,000m title but was at last beaten into second in the 5,000m.

But few will argue that Sir Mo does not deserve the award after a career that has seen him dominate his sport and become a household name.

He completed the ‘double-double’ in golds last year at the Rio Olympics: defending the 5,000m and 10,000m titles he famously won at London 2012.

Northern Irish motorcycle racer Jonathan Rea, who collected his third consecutive World Superbike title this year – also surprised many by coming second in the public vote.

Paralympian – and Strictly Come Dancing contestant – Jonnie Peacock came third.