2023 SJA British Sports Awards

Stuart Broad, Mary Earps and Manchester City FC men were named Sportsman, Sportswoman and Team of the Year respectively at the SJA British Sports Awards 2023 gala lunch; other winners at the 75th anniversary edition of the awards included Emma Finucane, Zharnel Hughes and Dele Alli…

The Sportsman, Sportswoman and Team of the Year awards are voted for by the SJA membership.

England Ashes hero Broad’s exploits at The Kia Oval lifted the entire nation in the summer and with the 37-year-old having taken 600 Test wickets before retiring from cricket, he receives the SJA’s highest sporting honour.

World 1,500m champion Josh Kerr was runner-up, while racing legend Frankie Dettori finished third in the vote.

‘Queen of Stops’ Earps, who claimed the Golden Glove after the FIFA Women’s World Cup final in August, got her hands on the SJA’s number one award as successor to last year’s winner, her Lionesses team-mate Beth Mead.

The England goalkeeper saw off the challenge of heptathlon world champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Ashes double-centurion Tammy Beaumont.

The victorious European Ryder Cup team and the Women’s World Cup runners-up England were in the running for Team of the Year, but just as they did in the 2022/23 campaign, Manchester City swept their rivals aside to add this trophy to their Treble of Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League.

The SJA British Sports Awards were first staged in 1949 and are the oldest sports awards in Britain. Sponsored by The National Lottery, the 2023 event – staged in December at The Kia Oval – was attended by more than 300 guests from sport, politics and the media.

It was the 75th anniversary edition and present in the room were many previous award winners, including legends of their sport, along with rising stars.

Darren Lewis gave the first SJA President’s Award of his tenure to Dele Alli, whose fortunes as a footballer have fluctuated since he helped England reach the World Cup semi-finals in Russia five years ago but who became a shining light this July when he joined sport’s ongoing conversation about mental health and addiction.

The Pat Besford Award was awarded to Zharnel Hughes – the man who broke Linford Christie’s 30-year-old British 100m record. The award is named after the former swimming correspondent of the Daily Telegraph, who was the SJA’s first woman chair, and goes to the person or team who, in the view of the SJA, produced the outstanding performance of the year.

The SJA Chair’s Award was won by Emma Hayes, who will leave Chelsea next summer after more than a decade as manager to take charge of the US national team – one of the most high-profile roles in women’s football worldwide.

SJA Chair Ashley Broadley cited Hayes’ appreciation for the role of the media as he handed her the award.

The National Lottery made its own Spirit of Sport Award to Eve Muirhead, who skippered Britain to curling glory at Tokyo 2020, and who will be flying east again in January 2024 to lead Team GB’s next generation at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in South Korea.

The SJA Bill McGowran Trophy for female and male para-athletes of the year was awarded to swimmer Ellie Challis and cyclists Neil Fachie and Matthew Robertson.

Recipient of the J L Manning Award for services to sport off the field was Kelly Simmons who in a 30-year stint with the Football Association has played a colossal role in elevating the women’s game to the status it enjoys in England today. 

The SJA Sport for Social Change Award, in association with the Sport for Development Coalition, was won by Tackle. For more than two decades, the charity has succeeded in delivering essential HIV awareness to young people across Africa through the power of football.

The Sky | Kick It Out award for equality and Inclusion went to Troy Deeney, in recognition of his consistent calling-out of racism and for using his voice to transcend sport and educate through The Black Curriculum.

Cricketer Harry Brook and cyclist Emma Finucane were joint recipients of the Peter Wilson Trophy for breakthrough performance of the year.

Significantly for the SJA, there was also the announcement of the Doug Gardner Award going to the late David Emery, the former sports editor of the Daily Express and publisher who sadly passed away in June.


Sportsman of the Year: Stuart Broad (cricket)

Sportswoman of the Year: Mary Earps (football)

Team of the Year: Manchester City men’s football team

SJA Pat Besford Award for outstanding performance of the year: Zharnel Hughes (athletics)

SJA President’s Award: Dele Alli

SJA Committee Award: Katarina Johnson-Thompson (athletics)

J.L. Manning Award for services off the field of play: Kelly Simmons (football)

SJA Bill McGowran Trophy for male and female para athlete of the year: Neil Fachie and Matthew Robertson (cycling), and Ellie Challis (swimming)

SJA Chairman’s Award: Emma Hayes

SJA Peter Wilson Trophy for breakthrough performance of the year: Harry Brook (cricket) and Emma Finucane (cycling)

The National Lottery Spirit of Sport Award: Eve Muirhead

Sky | Kick It Out Award for Equality and Inclusion: Troy Deeney

SJA Sport for Change Award, in association with the Sport for Development Coalition: Tackle

SJA Doug Gardner Award: David Emery

For more content, visit our SJA British Sports Awards content hub