The captain of GB’s Deaf women’s football team claimed almost three-quarters of the public vote to finish ahead of second-placed Serena Williams (eight per cent), with British tennis star Johanna Konta coming home in third (seven per cent).
Northampton Town Ladies footballer Stancliffe guided GB to the bronze medal at this summer’s Deaf World Cup in Italy, after leading the fundraising effort to allow the team to travel to the tournament.
Lionesses Lucy Bronze, Fran Kirby, Jo Potter and Jade Moore supported Stancliffe’s appeal on behalf of the team, with male stars Jack Butland and James Milner also chipping in with donations of £5000 each.
“It was an absolute honour to be nominated for this award alongside some incredible female athletes, let alone to actually win it,” Stancliffe told Sky Sports. “I am very proud and it’s a huge step for deaf sports. I hope it has raised awareness and will encourage everyone to get behind us as, being self-funded, we will need all the support we can get for Deaflympics 2017.
“If anyone has been inspired, then my job is half done. The other half will be to find as much sponsorship as possible for Deaflympics GB athletes.
“I wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who voted and supported me.”