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The BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award is an award given annually as part of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony each December. The award is given to a sportsperson "who has made a major impact on the world of sport during their lifetime". The winner is selected by BBC Sport. When football manager Alex Ferguson won the award in 2001, the BBC described the award as "a new accolade" to be presented annually; however, two people had already received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The inaugural recipient of the award was Frank Bruno in 1996, who won it after his retirement from boxing that year. Bruno was the favourite to win the main award in 1995, but lost to Damon Hill, causing many to criticize his Lifetime Achievement Award as being a consolation award. Golfer Seve Ballesteros won the award the following year, but after that the award was not presented for three years. The award has been presented annually since Ferguson ended the hiatus in 2001. Five of the ten recipients have been associated with football; tennis is the only other sport to have been represented more than once. Six of the winners have were born in the United Kingdommarker, and the other winners were born in Brazil, former Czechoslovakia, Spain, and Sweden. Martina Navratilova is the only woman to have won the award. The most recent recipient of the award was English footballer Bobby Charlton in 2008 for his "immense contribution to football with Manchester United and England".

By year

Year Nat. Winner Sport Rationale Note
1996 Boxing for his contributions to boxing which include winning the WBC heavyweight title.
1997 Golf "in recognition of his outstanding contribution to European golf over the last 20 years."
2001 Football for a managing career at Manchester United since 1986 which has won seven league titles and "claimed an unprecedented treble of Premiership, FA Cup and European Cup".
2002 Football "in recognition of his footballing achievements", which include being named "Footballer of the Year and European Player of the Year in 1968", and winning two championship medals and a European Cup with Manchester United.
2003 Tennis "for a trophy-laden tennis career spanning 30 years, (...) winning a record 167 singles titles and an astonishing 329 trophies overall, 140 ahead of her nearest rival."
2004 Cricket "for services to cricket" where he played 102 Tests for England in his 15 year career as an all-rounder. "During that time he took 383 wickets, which remains an English record, and scored 5,200 runs."
2005 Pelé Football for having a professional career in which "he scored 1,280 goals in 1,363 games" and "made 92 appearances for Brazil, scoring 77 goals" and winning three of the four World Cups he played in.
2006 Tennis for "dazzl[ing] the world of tennis in the 1970s and 1980s, winning 11 Grand Slam titles" including 5 Wimbledonmarker championships.
2007 Football for "his contributions as both player and manager in a career spanning more than half a century"
2008 Football for achievements that include helping "England to World Cup success in 1966 and [leading] Manchester United to European Cup glory in 1968, scoring twice in the final".

By nationality

This table lists the total number of awards won by each nationality based on the principle of jus soli.
Nationality Number of

By sport

This table lists the total number of awards won by the winners sporting profession.
Number of
Football 5
Tennis 2
Boxing 1
Cricket 1
Golf 1



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