AP McCoy picked up the BBC’s lifetime achievement award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards yesterday (20 December).

On receiving the award AP thanked all the horses he’s ever ridden and the stable staff for looking after them.

“To any young person watching, all I can say is make the sacrifices because it’s worth it,” said AP in his acceptance speech.

The 20-times champion National Hunt jockey was presented with the award in Belfast.

AP McCoy bowed out of racing at the 2014-15 National Hunt season finale at Sandown in April after two decades at the top of his game.

“To be receive the lifetime achievement award is a big highlight of what has been an incredible year,” said AP. “It’s a huge honour.”

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In 2010 AP became the first jockey to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award — the year in which he won the Grand National on his 15th attempt aboard Don’t Push It.

“A previous Sports Personality of the Year winner and widely regarded as one of the greatest jockeys of all time, AP was the biggest superstar of racing until his retirement this year,” said Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport.

“It’s an honour to celebrate his illustrious career in Belfast, Northern Ireland, his home nation, with the lifetime achievement award.”

Apprentice jockey Tom Marquand finished third in the race to become Young Sports Personality of the Year.

He was among a shortlist of 10 young athletes. The award was won by gymnast Ellie Downie.

Tom picked up the champion apprentice title after riding 54 winners in his first season.

The 17-year-old from Cheltenham was 26th in the Flat Jockeys Championship, with just five fewer wins than Frankie Dettori in 2015.