King hailed as News Sports Awards proves a big hit

Kanu with his lifetime achievement award
Kanu with his lifetime achievement award
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

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The region’s sports stars came out in force to celebrate the ninth edition of The News Sports Awards last night.

Hosted at Fratton Park’s Victory Lounge, a crowd of more than 400 people gathered to pass on their congratulations to the stars of 2010 for another superb 12 months of sporting achievement.

Portsmouth Football Club offered fantastic support to the event, with boss Steve Cotterill leading several of his playing squad and coaching staff to hand out the gongs and play their part in a special evening.

So it was fitting Pompey’s own king, Kanu, was the recipient of the lifetime achievement award for his fantastic charity work, his service with Pompey and his memorable FA Cup-winning strike.

Pompey’s footballers played a huge part in the evening, with Cotterill even acting as host to quiz Liam Lawrence, David Nugent and Joel Ward in a special edition of Mastermind. Nugent just pipped his team-mate, Lawrence, to the award of Pompey Player of 2010 later on.

Hampshire batsman Jimmy Adams retained his crown as sportsman of the year for his heroics in leading the Royals to twenty20 glory last summer, edging out karate world champion Dave Galloway.

Commonwealth Games silver medallist Michelle Smith grabbed the sportswoman of the year title after her shooting exploits in Delhi. She pipped tenpin bowling star Hayley White.

Another Commonwealth Games star picked up the young sportswoman of the year prize as Stubbington gymnast Jocelyn Hunt lifted the title for her silver medal-winning efforts.

Netball’s rising star Yasmin Parsons claimed runner-up spot.

There was more Pompey success in the young sportsman of the year category as Academy starlet Sam Magri gained recognition for his international performances in skippering both England under-16s and under-17s.

Rugby prodigy Will Spencer was named as runner-up behind Magri in a competitive field of entrants.

There was another footballer to earn honours as Spike Westbrook won the outstanding contribution to disabled sport award for competing for his country in the Amputee World Cup.

Athlete Chris Tollet was runner-up in the same category.

The Leigh Park Warrior himself, Tony Oakey, was on hand to collect his outstanding contribution prize after calling time on a glittering boxing career.

Primary school teacher Giorgio Colombi was also honoured for his coaching at St Swithun’s School.

Coach of the year went to Portsmouth Joggers’ athletics guru Dave Byng, with Pompey Ladies manager Vanessa Raynbird taking the runner-up award.

Best one-off performance was won by young cricketer Rob Gibson, as Hawks Ladies were handed the runner-up spot.

Young team of the year went to Portsmouth Grammar School’s under-15s rugby team, with Portsmouth School of Gymnastics named in runner-up position.

And team of the year was claimed by City of Portsmouth Ladies athletics team, with Gosport & Fareham’s rugby team in second place.