Andy Murray named BBC Sports Personality of the Year

Murray helped guide Great Britain to victory in the Davis Cup at the end of November

Andy Murray named BBC Sports Personality of the Year

Winner of 2015 Sports Personality of the Year Andy Murray during Sports Personality of the Year 2015 at the SSE Arena, Belfast. (Niall Carson/PA Wire)

Andy Murray has won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award for 2015 - after being shortlisted at the last minute.

The tennis star helped guide Great Britain to victory in the Davis Cup at the end of November - the first time that the team has won the coveted title for 79 years.

Rugby league star Kevin Sinfield was runner-up, while world champion hepathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill came third.

As he accepted his award, Murray told the audience at Belfast's SSE Arena: "Murray said: "Thank you very much, I genuinely didn't prepare anything, I didn't expect this.

"A friend actually sent me a message the other day with an article from a newspaper which said that 'Andy Murray is duller than a weekend in Worthing', which I thought was a bit harsh - to Worthing."

During his speech, the 28-year-old explained that his wife Kim, who is often seen cheering him from the sidelines, could not attend as "she's expecting a baby in a few weeks and is unable to travel".

This year's ceremony faced considerable controversy, after the boxer Tyson Fury was also shortlisted late.

The heavyweight champion has been accused of making "disgraceful and inflammatory comments about women and gay people" - prompting more than 135,000 people to demand that the BBC to rescind his nomination.

About 30 protesters, joined by Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister, expressed their anger that Fury was still in the running for the prize outside the arena.

Fury has been accused of equating homosexuality with paedophilia in one interview - while in another, he was quoted as saying that a woman's "best place is on her back".

During the ceremony, the 27-year-old said sorry - and insisted he didn't mean to offend anyone with his remarks.

Fury said: "It's all very tongue-in-cheek, its all fun and games for me. I am not really a serious type of person.

"Everything is happy-go-lucky with Tyson Fury. If I've said anything in the past that has hurt anybody, I apologise to anybody who has been hurt. It was not my intention to do that."

His critics have claimed his controversial remarks could prevent young people from participating in sport, as well as cause bullying and self-harm.

Meanwhile, a lifetime achievement was presented to champion jump jockey AP McCoy, who retired in April after riding 4,300 winners during his illustrious 20-year career.