SPORTS AWARDS: Super Ged is the 2015 Peterborough Telegraph Sports Personality of the Year

Ged Rathbone with his Sports Personality of the Year prizes. Photo: David Lowndes.

Ged Rathbone with his Sports Personality of the Year prizes. Photo: David Lowndes.

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The man who saved speedway in the city is the Peterborough Telegraph Sports Personality of the Year for 2015.

Ged Rathbone stepped in when it looked likely the Peterborough Panthers would fold 44 years after their formation.

Winners Peterborough Phantoms ice hockey team with PT Team of the Year sponsor Stephen 'Tommy' Cooper from Sports Ground Development.

Winners Peterborough Phantoms ice hockey team with PT Team of the Year sponsor Stephen 'Tommy' Cooper from Sports Ground Development.

The dynamic businessman organised a fund-raising effort which raised £40,000 in double-quick time and enabled Panthers to take their place in the Premier League.

And, against all the odds, including a stack of injury problems, Panthers, promoted by Rathbone, raced into the end-of-season play-offs before bowing out at the semi-final stage.

Rathbone, who pipped world champion bowler Nicky Brett and Peterborough Phantoms ice hockey netminder Janis Auzins to first place, is the first speedway winner of the prestigious award since star ride Hans Andersen was successful in 2006. Another top rider, Ryan Sullivan (2003) is the only other PT Sports Personalty of the Year from the world of speedway.

Brett’s brilliant success in the 2016 World Indoor Championships arrived too late to affect voting, but Auzins was compensated by taking the Sportsman of the Year award on what turned out to be an excellent night for the Peterborough Phantoms ice hockey organisation.

Auzins was their star performer in an outstanding 2015 for Phantoms which yielded a stunning success in the English Premier League play-off finals in Coventry.

That fantastic achievement led to Phantoms skating off with the Team of the Year prize and to inspirational coach Slava Koulikov winning the Coach of the Year award.

History was made in the Footballer of the Year category as Peterborough Northern Star Ladies captain Jodie Bartle became the first lady player to be crowned. She pipped team-mate Chanade Henderson and last year’s winner Dan Cotton of Yaxley FC to the prize after leading Star into the National League.

William Howarth, the free-scoring son of former Posh centre-half Lee Howarth, won the Junior Footballer of the Year prize, beating last year’s winner Emma Pollard and six-year-old goalkeeper Charlie Bedford.

As always the sport of martial arts was well represented at the presentation night at the Cresset. Peterborough BCKA were a runner-up in the Team of the Year competition, but their young fighter Eddy Paddock, a multiple winner of European and British kick-boxing titles, won the Junior Sportsman of the Year prize.

And eight-year-old Lorena Ismail won the Junior Sportswoman category after winning British and European medals, among 14 golds she won in total, in her first season of competition. Lorena is a member of the Warriors Martial Arts Club.

GB triathlete Lauren Steadman won the Sportswoman of the Year prize, while John Sismey of Peterborough Rugby Club was rewarded with his 40 years of service to the club, latterly as a junior coach, with the Unsung Hero prize.

A full, multi-page round-up of the night with pictures will be included in the Peterborough Telegraph next Thursday (February 4).

The Peterborough Telegraph is grateful to all sponsors of the individual awards, the Cresset for hosting the event and to ChromaSports & Trophies for providing the trophies.

ROLL OF HONOUR:
Sports Personality of The Year (sponsored by the Cresset)

1st: Ged Rathbone (speedway)

Runners-up: Janis Auzins (ice hockey), Nicky Brett (bowls).

Sportsman of the Year (sponsored by Motorpoint)

1st: Janis Auzins (ice hockey).

Runners-up: Leon Gold (martial arts), Phil Martin (athletics).

Sportswoman of the Year (sponsored by Moore Steel Development Ltd)

1st: Lauren Steadman (triathlon).

Runners-up: Chelsea Munday (martial arts), Kim Lane (ice hockey).

Team of the Year (sponsored by Sports Ground Development)

1st: Peterborough Phantoms (ice hockey).

Runners-up: Peterborough BCKA (martial arts), Peterborough Northern Star Ladies (football).

Junior Sportsman of the Year (sponsored by Dalrod)

1st: Eddy Paddock (martial arts).

Runners-up: Ashton Brannigan (martial arts), Jaxon Simmons (swimming).

Junior Sportswoman of the Year (sponsored by Krusada)

1st: Lorena Ismail (martial arts).

Runners-up: Katie Tasker (triathlon), Jaden Harris (martial arts).

Footballer of the Year (sponsored by Focus Business Media Ltd)

1st: Jodie Bartle.

Runners-up: Chanade Henderson, Dan Cotton.

Junior Footballer of the Year (sponsored by BGL Group)

1st: William Howarth.

Runners-up: Charlie Bedford, Emma Pollard.

Coach of the Year (sponsored by Coca Cola)

1st: Slava Koulikov (ice hockey).

Runners-up: Darren Fox (rugby union), Darren Gibbons (football).

Unsung Hero of the Year (sponsored by Peterborough Rugby Club)

1st: John Sismey (rugby Union)

Runners-up: Ritchie Walton (martial arts), Clive Wilson (football).