Sir Kenny Dalglish was bestowed with a prestigious Lifetime Achievement gong at this year’s Mirror Pride of Sport Awards.
The prize for the Liverpool legend capped off a truly inspirational evening as the world of sport and showbiz joined forces to honour the unsung heroes of grassroots sport and some elite competitors who inspire them.
Anfield great Dalglish, 68, was deservedly recognised for his remarkable achievements both on and off the field – including his incredible charity work to raise millions of pounds in the fight against cancer.
Ben Stokes, the stand-out star of the unforgettable summer of cricket who inspired England’s historic World Cup win before one of the greatest Test innings of all time, was also honoured with the Inspirational Performance Award.
And Dina Asher-Smith won the Sporting Hero accolade following her historic 200m sprint triumph at this year’s World Athletics Championships.
The star-studded event too place at Grosvenor House in London’s Park Lane.
Mirror Sport columnist Sam Quek was among the long list of A-list sporting heroes in attendance, alongside Sir Chris Hoy, Greg Rutherford, Sally Gunnell, Dam Kelly Holmes, Luke Campbell, Jason Leonard, James Cracknell, Johanna Konta and Hannah Crockroft.
Football heroes John Barnes, Graeme Souness, David Seaman, Steve McMahon, Andy Cole, Chris Kamara, Kelly Smith and Fran Kirby were there too, along with a host of famous celebrities including Mark Wright, Pete Wicks, Harry Judd and Jenni Falconer.
Here is a list of all the 2019 Pride of Sport winners in full…
Stand-out star of an unforgettable summer of cricket inspired England’s historic World Cup win before one of the greatest Test innings of all time.
Britain’s fastest-ever woman made history with victory in the 200m at this year’s World Championships.
THE JUDGES SAID: “Dina is already one of the all-time greats of British athletics, and she’s still only 23. But more than that, she is a role model who inspires us all, and who the whole nation can be proud of.”
Sir Kenny Dalglish
The Liverpool legend worked tirelessly to help heal a community in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster and has raised millions to fight cancer.
THE JUDGES SAID: “Sir Kenny is a national hero whose achievements go way beyond goals and trophies. It’s impossible to sum up the scale of his impact on and off the pitch – he is quite simply a giant of a man.”
Disability Sport Award
Swimmer who overcame a series of painful injuries and setbacks to become a three-time world champion.
THE JUDGES SAID: “To have been competing at that level and to then have to start from the bottom all over again, her courage and resilience is simply awe-inspiring. She is an incredible champion.”
Inspiration in sport comes in many forms, from a striker scoring a last-minute winner to a coach who helps a team of kids work together to achieve their potential. And it can be just as transformational off the pitch.
This summer, when ex-Wales and British Lions rugby star Gareth Thomas revealed he is HIV positive, he provided inspiration for not only the 96,000 people in the UK living with the virus, but for all of us who can learn from his brave and selfless act.
As the first major UK sports personality to come out as HIV positive, Gareth is now breaking down the stigma and proving you can live a full and happy life with HIV.
THE JUDGES SAID: “Gareth was a giant of a man on the rugby pitch, and he is a giant of a man off it. His courageous decision to talk about HIV was a gamechanger, and will have a positive impact on millions of lives.”
Lord Herman Ouseley
Trailblazing campaigner against racism in football established and led the anti-discrimination charity Kick It Out for 25 years.
THE JUDGES SAID: “Lord Ouseley has done an amazing job, first of all getting people in power to acknowledge racism in football, and then providing the leadership to do something about it. He has changed the face of the sport, and younger generations owe him a huge debt.”
Young Fundraiser of the Year
After his dad passed away, 10-year-old Alfie set up a charity campaign – Alfie’s Squad – to support other children affected by bereavement.
THE JUDGES SAID: “Out of a truly heartbreaking situation Alfie has done something truly selfless, raised thousands of pounds and made a huge difference to others. He is such an inspirational young man.”
The promising young footballer, aged 9, went blind at the age of seven but has been earmarked as a future England star.
THE JUDGES SAID: “What a special young man. It must have been a horrendous experience to lose his sight, but Mikey has stayed so positive and his spirit and love of football is infectious.”
Club of the Year
Brighton Table Tennis Club
Breaking down barriers and uniting people of all ages, including refugees, people with disabilities and asylum seekers, through a mutual love of table tennis.
THE JUDGES SAID: “We talk about the power of sport to bring people together, and there could not be a better example than Brighton Table Tennis Club. It is a simple idea, but executed so brilliantly and it’s having such a profound effect. Every town and city should have a club like this.”
THE JUDGES SAID: “Corinne is absolutely inspirational. It’s almost impossible to comprehend how her life changed forever in a matter of hours, but she simply refuses to be beaten. Her strength, compassion and courage are an example to us all.”
Kings Cross Steelers
The world’s first gay rugby team has blazed a trail for inclusiveness and tolerance in sport.
THE JUDGES SAID: “The sporting world is more inclusive now than ever, and it’s thanks to pioneers like the Kings Cross Steelers . From a group of guys in the pub, what they have achieved is astonishing, and they have had a positive impact on so many lives.”
Group of parents and neighbours created Playing Out, a scheme that closes streets to traffic one day a week so kids can play outside safely
THE JUDGES SAID: “How many people’s first experience of sport was running around, riding a bike or kicking a ball in the street? Sadly that’s an increasingly rare experience for children today, so what Playing Out has achieved is absolutely inspirational, and is transforming lives.”
Josh Llewellyn-Jones OBE
Josh has raised £750,000 for cystic fibrosis charities and is now inspiring children with the condition to take up exercise
THE JUDGES SAID: “Despite having such a serious illness, and facing his own challenges every day, Josh grabs every opportunity to help others and lives life to the fullest.”
TSB Community Partner
Dr Edwina Brocklesby BEM
“Iron Gran” triathlete and founder of a charity – Silverfit – promoting sport for older people is living proof that it’s never too late to start exercising.
THE JUDGES SAID: “Edwina’s enthusiasm is infectious. She champions the idea that the more active you are, the better your quality of life. She makes you want to go and do something right now.”
- Watch the Mirror Pride of Sport Awards, in partnership with TSB, on YouTube from 11th December 2019