Arsenal fan Tony McCoy is the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Champion jockey for a staggering 15 years in a row, McCoy ended his long wait for a Grand National winner in 2010 and was rewarded with a landslide victory in the BBC poll.

McCoy received his prize from Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas and was introduced to the Arsenal fans at half-time during the Chelsea game on Monday night.

"It was very flattering to be among the ten nominations, and obviously it was amazing to win it," McCoy told the Official Matchday Programme. "Not only from a personal point of view, but I think it’s amazing for someone in racing to win the award, because it’s never happened before.

"I’m representing the sport in a way, but sometimes I feel a bit embarrassed that it’s me representing racing, on behalf of so many talented people. But if it means that racing will be the better for it, then brilliant.

"It meant so much, especially as it’s voted for by the public, and to be presented by Cesc Fabregas topped it all.

"I've supported Arsenal since I was a kid, they had a lot of Irish players, the main one being Liam Brady. I had the Arsenal kit from a young age and Liam Brady was the one I really looked to.

"Obviously there was Frank Stapleton as well at the time, Pat Jennings too, so there’s always been a big Arsenal-Irish link. When I was really young, Pat Jennings was opening a local sports shop, and I remember going and queueing up for his autograph.

"I really followed Arsenal until the age of 15/16, then I went to live in the south of Ireland for four or five years, and it was harder to follow them as much then, but I came to England in 1994/95 and got back into it then. It was good timing!"

This interview first appeared in the Official Matchday Programme. You can subscribe to the Matchday Programme by calling 08700 20 20 20.

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28 Dec 2010