England and Arsenal winger Beth Mead has won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award after winning the UEFA Women’s European Championship and Gold Championship in 2022.
The 27-year-old, who became the first women’s soccer player to win the award, scored six goals as the Lionesses won their first major trophy of the summer, beating Germany 2-1 at Wembley in extra time to win Euro 2022. He was also named player of the year. Championship in UEFA.
She’s also been in fine form with Arsenal, completing a stunning wing transformation after being left out of GB’s squad for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
However, she recently tore her anterior cruciate ligament during Arsenal’s defeat to Manchester United three weeks ago, and faces a race to prepare for next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Mead, who recently signed a new contract with the Gunners, won the BBC public opinion poll ahead of England cricket captain Ben Stokes and Olympic curling champion Eve Muirhead.
The other candidates on the six-person shortlist are gymnast Jessica Gadirova, 1,500-meter world champion Jake Whiteman and seven-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan.
An emotional med said: “I am incredibly honored to win this award.
“I wouldn’t have done it without those girls there and the team that supported me. Yes, I got this award, I did my job, I scored some goals but I wouldn’t have done it without them.
“And I certainly wouldn’t have done it without my mum and dad and all of my family.
“But most of all, this is for women’s sport, and women’s sport is headed in the right direction. So let’s keep pushing the girls and let’s keep doing the right thing.”
Its success made her the 13th singles winner of the award, with Jayne Torvill also claiming it as part of her Dancing on Ice partnership with Christopher Dean in 1984. She is also the sixth female soccer player to win the award in her 68-year history.
She completed her hat-trick of awards for the trophies on the night, as the team was voted Team of the Year for their win at the Euros, with Sarina Wiegmann taking home the Coach of the Year award.
Wiegmann only began her assignment as coach of the England national team in September 2021, after leading her country, the Netherlands, to the same title in 2017.
Analysis: Mead’s dramatic rise has been capped by a SPOTY award
Sky Sports’ Charlotte Marsh:
If you asked Mead a year ago about her predictions for 2022, she might have struggled to name even half of the amazing moments she’s had over the past 12 months.
2021 will arguably be remembered for its disappointment at the Olympics. But 2022 is often dubbed ‘Beth Maid’s revenge tour’ – and the music has finally reached its peak with the BBC’s well-deserved Sports Personality of the Year award.
“Winning the Euros in July will always be the high point of the year. First major league title, first major title won by a senior club in England since 1966 and won at a sold-out Wembley against old foe in Germany..Football fairy tales don’t get much better.
And Mead was one of the Lionesses’ breakout stars. Her six goals and five assists helped her reach the Golden Boot, scored half of England’s goals in the tournament, as well as being player of the tournament. She could reach her fiftieth in England in November and at the age of 27 easily to her horn.
It was the management combination of Jonas Edvall and Sarina Wiegmann that saw Mead finally realize her potential. She was directly involved in 37 goals in 23 appearances under the Dutch boss, and has been effective at Arsenal.
She scored 10 goals and recorded eight assists in WSL games in 2022, recording 61 shots while also making 35 tackles, demonstrating how effective she can be in other areas of her game.
“Unfortunately, it will be some time before we see Meade light up the pitch again. An ACL injury picked up a few weeks ago has certainly ruled her out for a good part of the season, keeping her going for the World Cup next summer.
“But there is no denying that the latest award in her trophy cabinet is the perfect way to cap an exciting rally without any doubt that Mead will come back stronger in 2023.”
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