SPORT
16/12/2013 07:57 GMT | Updated 16/12/2013 15:27 GMT

Andy Murray Wins Sports Personality Of The Year 2013 (PICTURES)

Andy Murray won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award by an unprecedented margin on Sunday night.

Murrray polled 401,470 of the votes cast by the British public ahead of British Lions full-back Leigh Halfpenny who finished second with 65,913 votes, and racing great and 2010 winner Tony McCoy in third on 57,854.

Murray said: "It's very nice and I'm glad I won it because when you look at a lot of the names on the trophy there are some pretty special athletes on there, so I'm proud to have won.

andy murray spoty

Murray collected the award from Martina Navratilova in Miami

"Wimbledon is something I've worked for for a lot of years and dedicated a lot of time towards, and something like this is an acknowledgement of your achievements from the British public."

McCoy hailed Murrray's victory, saying it would have been an "injustice" if the Scot had not won the award in a year in which he became the first British man in 76 years to win Wimbledon.

McCoy, who rode his 4,000th career winner at Towcester in 2013, said: "It wouldn't have been right for anyone else to win Sports Personality of the Year because he's the first tennis player in all that time to win Wimbledon and with all the pressure that was on him.

SPOTY 2013

"He's probably playing in an era where in Nadal, Federer and Djokovic we have three of the best tennis players in the game so to win Wimbledon is a phenomenal achievement and it would have been a total injustice."

Halfpenny capped a fine night for the Lions by finishing second. The Lions also won the team award and Warren Gatland the Coach of the Year award for masterminding the crucial third and final Test win over Australia in Sydney.

Halfpenny said: "I can't believe it to be honest. Just to be nominated was a huge honour and I felt hugely privileged to be here tonight in the company of so many amazing sports stars. To receive the award from Sir Bradley Wiggins and Sir Alex Ferguson was amazing."

Sir Alex Ferguson was presented with a special Diamond Achievement award, while the Helen Rollason Award was posthumously awarded to the late Anne Williams for her tireless campaigning for a new inquest for her son Kevin and other victims of the Hillsborough disaster.