Des Smith

BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2023: Des Smith wins Unsung Hero Award

Des Smith, one of the founders and Chair of the Sheffield Caribbean Sports Club and Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA Director, has been honoured with the 2023 BBC Sports Personality Unsung Hero award. 

Des, 70, has been the “driving force” behind Sheffield Caribbean Sports Club since 1986 and was recognised for his work with the local community, 

The club is a safe haven for young people, offering five cricket teams and eight junior football sides as well as netball and hockey teams.

Desmond was presented with his award on BBC One at last night's BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards.

During his acceptance speech, Des reflected on how sport helped him integrate and learn about other cultures when he emigrated to the UK from Jamaica as a 13-year-old in 1966.

 "The club I'm involved in started around 1965 and it started because of the difficulties people like myself had - we loved football and cricket, but it wasn't easy in those days to work your way in and get involved in local cricket teams which were run mostly by white people," said Smith.

"I'm still involved in the club and there's people in their 80s still involved and doing excellent work. Our next target is to build a pavilion. It's falling apart, so if any sponsors want to come in that would be great!"

England fast bowler James Anderson and 2000 Olympic heptathlon champion Dame Denise Lewis presented Des with his award at the 70th edition of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards ceremony.

Des has made it his life's mission to support his community and  he now strives to improve race relations and understanding through the Sheffield Caribbean Sports Club, educating people in Sheffield and beyond about the importance of the Windrush generation.

The Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA would like to congratulate Des on his outstanding and deserved achievement.