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VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: 2014 Doncaster Free Press Sports Awards

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The great and the good of the borough’s sports scene came together for the sixth annual Doncaster Free Press Sports Awards.

And it proved to be a memorable evening as several tales of extraordinary levels of achievement and dedication left a lasting impression on guests at the Keepmoat Stadium.

The ceremony, hosted by Free Press sports writer Paul Goodwin, saw a total of 14 winners emerge from some very competitive categories.

The night culminated in the town’s first ever boxing world champion, Jamie McDonnell, being named as Sports Personality of the Year.

With McDonnell focused on his second world title fight - later this month on the Froch Groves undercard at Wembley - his coach Dave Hulley collected the award on the 28-year-old’s behalf.

It was Doncaster Knights who rather stole the show following their National One title success.

The Castle Park club won Professional Club of the Year after securing promotion back to the Championship at the first time of asking.

Director of rugby Clive Griffiths was present to collect the award for Professional Coach of the Year.

And winger Tyson Lewis made it a hat trick of awards by winning Outstanding Sporting Moment for his world record try at Blackheath - officially the fastest try scored in the history of rugby union.

The evening was equally memorable for its touching tales of bravery, dedication and sheer enthusiasm.

Winter Paralympics star Mick Brennan, a war veteran who lost both of his legs in a bomb blast in Iraq, was at the Keepmoat to collect the Disabled Sports Personality of the Year award.

John Hargate, a boxing coach who refuses to let terminal cancer get in the way of his voluntary work at Lindholme Gym, was named Unsung Hero.

While Eddie Beaglehole, who has devoted his life to football coaching, spoke of his pride at winning the Lifetime Achievement award.

The Knights players who attended the function later summed up the mood.

Lewis said: “As a young lad from Essex lad it’s very humbling to come to an evening like this and be recognised alongside some of these names; the likes of the Paralympics skier [Mick Brennan] and Lifetime Achievement winner [Eddie Beaglehole].

“I’m just grateful to be part of it.”

Teammate Mat Clark later said on Twitter: “Inspiring evening last night at the Doncaster Free Press awards. Even [Tyson] picked one up!”

Chris Burton, South Yorkshire Newspaper’s group editor, said: “These awards have been running for six years and they continue to go from strength to strength.

“Sport in Doncaster continues to throw up some incredible stories and feats, year after year.”

Video courtesy of Darren Neagle.

 

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