BRADLEY Wiggins not only stormed a competition with the most talent-packed field in history, but also demonstrated that he has the charisma to justify all elements of the coveted title.
For after landing this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year, Wiggo managed to give an impromptu guitar recital at the post-show party and pledged to give the coveted trophy to his local pub!
The champion cyclist, who likes to call himself an adopted Wiganer because he is married to a Shevington lass and is an avid Warriors fan, won the public poll by a remarkably large margin considering the opposition, it has since emerged.
A massive 1.6 million people rang in to this year’s contest - twice as many as last year - after what has been the most amazing ever year for British sport.
And 30 per cent of them voted for Tour de France winner and Olympic time trial gold medallist Wiggins, second-placed Jessica Ennis polling 22 per cent.
He had earlier cracked jokes with Sue Barker in front of the 16,000-strong audience at the ExCel Arena in London. One which went down particularly well concerned how there is a big team behind Wiggo’s sporting achievement, just as there was behind Gary Lineker’s make-up.
But his victory wasn’t just about one charming and quirky interview. Wiggins now has four Olympic golds to his name and is of course the first ever Brit to win the Tour in its history. And as if further evidence of the 32-year-old Mod’s personality were needed, he then wowed 1,000 celebrity guests at the post-ceremony gig with a performance on guitar of The Jam’s hit That’s Entertainment.
He then promised to put the famous trophy behind the bar of his two local pubs.
After receiving the award from David Beckham and the Duchess of Cambridge, he said: “I am going to let my nan have it for a bit, because I’ve promised her, and then I have promised the local pub - the Farmers Arms in Eccleston - that they can have it for a bit.
“They can put it on the bar, and then it’s going to the Original Farmers Arms (also in Eccleston).
“Then I am going to take it home for a bit and maybe put it under the Christmas tree.”
Barry Newton, owner of The Original Farmer’s Arms, has been enjoying the limelight his pub-restaurant has been receiving in recent days. He said: “Bradley is a regular in here, in fact he was in with his family having a meal two days before the ceremony.
“He is a nice chap who has a good joke with the staff but otherwise keeps himself to himself. We all wished him good luck the other day and he wasn’t so sure he would win because of all the other people in contention. As for having the trophy behind the bar, we’ll cross that bridge if it comes. We will have to keep it in a very safe place when we’re shut.”