2020 SJA British Sports Awards

The Sports Journalists’ Association are delighted to announce the winners of their British Sports Awards 2020, sponsored by the National Lottery. Usually a gala event in central London, this year the awards were held via a virtual ceremony, hosted by Jim Rosenthal and streamed on YouTube and Facebook.

Lewis Hamilton, seven-time Formula 1 world champion, record-breaking jockey Hollie Doyle and Premier League champions Liverpool FC are Sportsman, Sportswoman and Sports Team of the Year. The awards are voted for by SJA members.

SJA President Patrick Collins posthumously chose London Marathon co-founder Chris Brasher for his personal award. 

The SJA Bill McGowran Trophy for male and female para athletes of the year was awarded to Sarah Storey, winner of three golds at the 2020 track cycling world championships, and Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid, wheelchair tennis doubles partnership, who completed the career grand slam with victory at the French Open.

The National Lottery gave their Spirit of Sport award to Kim Daybell, Polly Swann and Vicky Wright, who all stepped away from sport this year to serve on the frontline of the NHS during the coronavirus crisis.


Former chairman David Walker came up with the idea of widening our horizons and asking the membership to vote for their greatest sportsman and sportswoman of the past 70 years. Our former President, Michael Parkinson, and Jim Rosenthal recorded a fabulous conversation on the pros and cons of some of our greatest athletes – with a few great anecdotes for good measure.

Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill and Sir Steve Redgrave were the greatest sportswoman and sportsman respectively.

This was a very different sporting year with the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping the nation while the Black Lives Matter movement struck a chord.

In recognition that sport should take second place, we decided to expand our Sport for Social Change awards and announced them in advance.

Marcus Rashford, MBE, Lou Macari, Ebony Rainford-Brent and the Dons Local Action Group (formed by AFC Wimbledon supporters) were the deserving recipients for their tireless work.

List of winners

Sportsman of the Year: Lewis Hamilton
Runners-up: Marcus Rashford, Tyson Fury and Tao Geoghegan Hart

Sportswoman of the Year: Hollie Doyle
Runners-up: Lizzie Deignan and Laura Muir

Sports team of the year: Liverpool FC
Runners-up: Exeter Chiefs and England men’s cricket

Bill McGowran Trophy: Dame Sarah Storey, Alfie Hewitt and Gordon Reid

National Lottery Spirit of Sport Award: Kim Daybell, Polly Swan, Vicky Wright


Greatest sportswoman: Jess Ennis-Hill
Runners-up: Mary Peters and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson

Greatest sportsman: Sir Steve Redgrave
Runners-up: Daley Thompson, Lord Seb Coe and Sir Andy Murray

Sport for Social Change: Marcus Rashford, Lou Macari, Ebony Rainford-Brent and the Dons Local Action Group