Peterborough Town Cricket Club captain Lewis Bruce is the Peterborough Telegraph’s Sports Personality of the Year 2014.
The likeable local lad saw off the challenge of Nicky Brett, the number two indoor bowls player in the world, and charismatic Ketton Lions CC skipper Rob Vitas to pick up the prize from sponsors ‘the Cresset’, who also hosted the night, this evening (January 30).
Bruce has only skippered the Bretton Gate club for two years and yet he’s already the most successful captain in their history. Under Bruce’s care Town have won two Northants Premier Division titles and two Northants Twenty/20 Cup crowns, plus he’s also led the team to two East Midlands Twenty/20 titles and to their first-ever appearance in National Twenty/20 Finals Day.
Bruce’s win saved the night for Town CC who had earlier collected three runner-up awards, including for ‘Team-of-the-Year’, Young fast bowler David Sayer, who was absent tonight as he is at an England Under 17 training camp, and chairman Brian Howard were Town’s other near misses.
Peterborough Lions Rugby Club won the ‘Battle of Bretton’ with Town for the team prize, a reward for bringing National League rugby back to the city.
Martial arts as usual enjoyed an excellent night. Gaynor Morgan, a multi-medal winner in World, European and British kick boxing events, was voted ‘Sportswoman of the Year’. while another kick boxer Freya Molloy retained her ‘Junior Sportswoman of the Year’ title after winning a world title treble in Portugal in November.
Molloy is a member of the Peterborough BCKA Club and clubmate Eddy Paddock collected the ‘Young Sportsman of the Year’ prize after a memorable 2014 which included multiple successes in Britain and Europe. Martial artists have provided the last four winners of the Junior Sportsman award.
Paralympic shooter Matt Skelhon, who set a world record and won a world title in Berlin in 2014, managed to beat two kick boxers Leon Gold and Kevin Buckley to win the ‘Sportsman of the Year’ prize for the second time in three years.
Dan Cotton of Yaxley FC picked up the ‘Footballer of the Year’ prize, while for the first time in the competition’s history, a girl, Emma Pollard, won the ‘Junior Footballer of the Year’ competition.
As always this category attracted the most votes overall and Emma, a relentless goalscorer for Netherton United, just pipped runners-up, Bayley McCann - the gifted son of former Posh star Grant McCann - and Josh Ford whose skills won him an invite to the Norwich City Centre of Excellence in 2014.
Football also provided the winners of the ‘Unsung Hero’ and ‘Coach of the Year’ catagories. Referee instructor and mentor Robert Windle collected the ‘Unsung Hero’ prize and Kevin Oldham won the ‘Coach of the Year’ award for his work with goalkeepers of all ages.
Bruce is the second Peterborough Town CC skipper to win the main prize after Ajaz Akhtar who won in 2005.
Number of votes
Winner: Lewis Bruce (cricket).
Runners-up: Robin Vitas (cricket), Nicky Brett (bowls).
Winner: Matt Skelhon (shooting).
Runners-up: Kevin Buckley & Leon Gold (kick boxing).
Winner: Gaynor Morgan (kick boxing).
Runners-up: Linda Darani (bowls), Chloe Hannam (swimming).
Winner: Peterborough Lions (rugby union).
Runners-up: Peterborough Town (cricket), Peterborough BCKA (kick boxing).
Winner: Eddy Paddock (kick boxing).
Runners-up: David Sayer (cricket), Sanjay Nithiyalingam (golf).
Junior Sportswoman Winner: Freya Molloy (kick boxing).
Runners-up: Harriet Fenton (athletics), Jaden Harris (kick boxing).
Winner: Dan Cotton.
Runners-up: Avelino Vieira, Jordan MacLeod.
Winner: Emma Pollard
Runners-up: Bayley McCann & Josh Ford.
Winner: Kevin Oldham (football).
Runners-up: Ben Negus (swimming), Andy Whitwell (kick boxing).
Winner: Robert Windle (football).
Runners-up: Brian Howard (cricket), Phantoms Learn to Play Group (ice hockey)