JAMES MCCLEAN HAS been named the 2017 RTE Sportsperson of the Year.
The Republic of Ireland international picked up the accolade after a public vote which saw him see off competition from the likes of boxer Katie Taylor, rugby star Conor Murray, rower Paul O’Donovan and Mayo footballer Andy Moran.
With his club West Bromwich Albion in action against Manchester United tomorrow, McClean wasn’t able to make it to Dublin to pick up the award in person. But, RTE football correspondent Tony O’Donoghue made the presentation to the winger at his home in Birmingham and spoke to him live.
“It’s the Irish public voting for me,” McClean said.
It’s an award that covers not just football but all sports. It’s something special. It’s something I’m immensely proud of.”
McClean played a crucial role as Martin O’Neill’s side narrowly missed out on World Cup qualification.
He scored the crucial goal in Cardiff that ensured the Irish would make the play-offs. Earlier in the qualification campaign, he also netted the winner against Austria in Vienna and popped up with a brace against Moldova too.
Elsewhere at Saturday night’s ceremony, the Team of the Year award didn’t go to the Dublin Ladies football side, the Galway hurlers or world champion rowers Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll.
Instead, in a pretty surprising result, it was the Irish showjumping team who were honoured following their European success in Gothenburg.
Aidan O’Brien was crowned Manager of the Year while 17-year-old swimmer Mona McSharry won the Young Sportsperson of the Year award – a brand-new category.
20 years after his World Championship triumph at The Crucible in Sheffield, Ken Doherty was inducted into the Hall of Fame and dedicated his award to his late mother who passed away earlier this year.
Sportsperson of the year: James McClean
Team of the year: The Irish showjumping team
Manager of the year: Aidan O’Brien
Young Sportsperson of the year: Mona McSharry
Hall of Fame inductee: Ken Doherty
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