It was another night of success for Premier League champions Liverpool as they were crowned Team of the Year at the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year awards.
Manager Jurgen Klopp was also named Coach of the Year, while Jordan Henderson finished runner-up to Formula 1 superstar Lewis Hamilton for the evening’s main award.
This latest spate of recognition caps an extraordinary 12 months for the club, who finally ended their 30-year wait for a top flight title in July. The Reds eventually finished the 2019/2020 Premier League season on 99 points, failing to win just six games all season.
Reflecting on his side’s success in an interview with the BBC, Klopp said: “My team deserve this, because they did an incredible job. It’s a mix of talent, character, desire and the power of the club, which is a big one. That all comes together and it was a great moment when we became champions.
“We want to organise a big party when it’s allowed again, could take a little while but until then maybe we can win something else, we will see. We can’t wait to see the fans again and winning this prize in Manchester is even sweeter.”
On his own personal award, Klopp added (via Liverpool’s official website): “When the coach of the Team of the Year becomes the Coach of the Year then I had an outstanding team on the pitch obviously.
“Hendo nearly mentioned all of them, but my coaching staff is obviously the main reason why all the things worked the way they work, so I’m really happy. Usually you win a prize as a football coach, this time obviously all my contenders were from all different kind of sports and I never before won something like that. It’s really nice.
“On behalf of my coaches, I accept it obviously and take it home to Liverpool. Thank you very much.”
Klopp’s win comes just a few days removed from him controversially – in some people’s opinion, anyway – being named FIFA Coach of the Year ahead of Bayern Munich’s treble winning manager, Hansi Flick.
Henderson, meanwhile, has been one of the key components of Liverpool’s fantastic year on the pitch, and the skipper has also had a fine 12 months off it – spearheading the Players Together campaign that raised millions to help the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the midfielder was narrowly beaten to the top prize by Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, who won a record seventh F1 championship this year. Jockey Hollie Doyle completed the podium by coming in third place.
Earlier on in the night, Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford was commended with a special award for his incredible free school meals campaign.