Richard Johnson was finally crowned British jump racing's champion jockey on Saturday after two decades of being the sport's 'nearly man'.

The popular Englishman, one of the finest riders of his generation, has been striving for years to claim the most winners in a season only to be deprived season after season by the great Tony McCoy.

In the first year since McCoy's retirement, 16-times runner-up Johnson finally received the deserved reward for his enduring excellence after riding his 235th winner of the season on the final day of the campaign at Sandown Park in London's suburbs.

To make his day just perfect it was McCoy, winner of the title 20 years in succession, who was on hand to present the trophy to his 38-year-old friend and rival.

"I know I wouldn't have achieved what I did without him driving me on," said McCoy. "For me he has always been a champion. He thoroughly deserves it."

The final day of the season also saw an exciting climax to the British trainers' championship with Paul Nicholls winning his 10th crown in 11 seasons, holding off the challenge of Ireland's Willie Mullins.