Hines Ward has praised Kirstie Alley after beating her to win 'Dancing With The Stars'.

The NFL star praised the actress as a worthy runner-up, saying he thought she could have easily won the competition herself if it wasn't for his sports fans voting for him.

He said: "Kirstie could have taken it. She's been incredible all season and I guess all of the fans got us through, especially Pittsburgh and Steeler Nation. I think they really voted hard for us last night."

Hines picked up the mirror ball trophy with his dance partner Kym Johnson, whom he also praised.

He said: "I owe it all to Kym. She's an amazing teacher, and I want to thank the judges for giving us the constructive criticism to help me get better each week. Also, I want to thank all the fans."

Meanwhile Kirstie is pleased that she got back into shape by participating in the show.

She quipped: "I think it would be fun to show the fans and the judges that my dress is half the size it was in week one. I have a lot more strength and a lot more stamina."