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BARBADOS - sports 2004
Men Of The Year - Friday 31, December-2004
by PHILIP SPOONER and SHERRYLYN CLARKE
For their amazing heroics, Courtney Browne and Ian Bradshaw have been named Sportspersons Of The Year, the National Sports Council (NSC) announced.
The pair added an unforgettable, unbroken stand of 73 for the ninth wicket to enable West Indies to win the International Cricket Council Champions Trophy, and stunned the cricket world on the bleak evening of Saturday, September 25, at the Oval in London.
Members of the NSC award committee and the media made the decision on Wednesday morning, recognising the pair for their heroics in bringing West Indies from the brink of defeat.
The brilliant batting allowed the pair, who became instant heroes, to edge Olympic cyclist Barry Forde in a close vote. Star sprinter Obadele Thompson, seventh in the marquee men’s 100 metres in Athens, and ace draughts player Ronald “Suki” King, were also considered.
WEEKENDSPORT caught up with the pair at Grantley Adams International Airport yesterday just before they left for Australia to join the West Indies team for the VB Series.
“It came as a complete surprise, but I’m delighted the people of my country have recognised my contribution,” said Bradshaw, 30.
“The island has had some legendary cricketers over the years and we are part of a rich tradition.”
Browne, who turned 34 earlier this month, expressed similar sentiments, and thanked those who nominated him.
“I am very honoured to have received this prestigious award. I am happy that after doing well for my people I have been awarded.
“It’s not just walking across the field. The game is not just about bat and ball. It’s about representing my people and I feel truly blessed.”
It is the second time in as many years a pair of individuals will share the award, the pair following in the footsteps of Team Rowing Home – Philip Als and Randal Valdez.
Forde also had a very good year as he placed sixth in the men’s sprint at the Athens Olympic Games.
What made his feat even more impressive is that he was the only person from this Hemisphere to qualify, then reached the final rounds against the odds, after he recovered from a concussion he suffered in Australia weeks earlier.
Thompson, who battled injuries since his bronze medal at the Sydney Olympics four years ago, gave a brilliant performance to reach the finals in Athens. He joined an elite club of runners who reached the 100 metres final in three consecutive Olympics.
The awards will be presented on January 29 at the annual NSC Award ceremony at Frank Collymore Hall.
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