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29 October 2014
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Sparky takes top honour in public vote

Wales football manager Mark Hughes has been voted BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year 2002 by the viewing public.

Mark 'Sparky' Hughes joins fellow football greats Ian Rush, Ryan Giggs and John Toshack in the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year list of winners, after a year which included a sweep of victories and a record rise of 48 places in FIFA's world rankings for the national side.

BBC ONE Wales' viewers watched Mark Hughes raise the trophy, presented by Manic Street Preachers guitarist Nicky Wire, in the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year programme, screened from the glittering ceremony at St David's Hall in Cardiff.

The Manic Street Preachers brought their own brand of luck to the national side when they warmed up the home crowd before October's momentous Wales v Italy match at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

For the first time in its 47 year history, the award was decided by a viewers' vote, rather than the traditional panel of judges.

Second place went to cyclist Nicole Cooke from Wick in the Vale of Glamorgan, who took Commonwealth gold at the Manchester Games.

Pontypridd golfer Phillip Price took third place at the Awards for the second year running, after pulling off a shock win over American world number two Phil Mickelson in a Ryder Cup final day nail-biter.

This year's team award was won by the Wales football team, whose record of international wins under Hughes in 2002 put them on top of their European Championship qualifying group by the end of last year.

The Carwyn James Junior Award - now in its 20th year - went to 14-year-old yachtswoman Hannah Mills from Dinas Powys and golfer Rhys Davies, 19, from Bridgend.

The 2002 Merit Award went to former Glamorgan and England cricketer Steve Watkin.

All the BBC's digital services are now available on Freeview, the new free-to-view digital terrestrial television service, as well as on satellite and cable.

Freeview offers the BBC's eight television channels, as well as six BBC radio networks.

The soon to launch BBC THREE will become available as it goes on air.



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