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As a hectic sporting year draws to a close the BBC hold their Sports Personality of the Year awards This has grown in size over the years and is now a major event every December. The award has been running since 1954 and was the idea of Sportsview editor Paul Fox. The first ceremony lasted 45 minutes and the first ever BBC Sports Personality of the Year was athlete Christopher Chataway who set a 5000m World Record that year. In many ways it was a surprise result as second was Roger Bannister who set the first sub four minute mile that year (Chataway was a pacemaker in that race) and sadly recently passed away.

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The award has grown in stature over the years and several new awards have been introduced making it a major sports award ceremony being held in increasingly larger venues. In 2014 the award ceremony was held at the SS Hyrdro in Glasgow and 2015 at the SSE Arena in Belfast, with last year's ceremony coming from the Genting Arena in Birmingham. 

Current awards presented are

  • Sports Personality of the Year
  • Overseas Personality of the Year
  • Team of the Year
  • Lifetime Achievement
  • Coach of the Year
  • Helen Rollason Award for outstanding achievement in the face of adversity (named after the BBC presenter who sadly died of cancer)
  • Young Sports of the Year
  • Unsung Sports Hero of the Year - regional awards are given out and then an overall winner chosen.

Other awards handed out have included the Sports Personality of the Century Award in 1999 which was won by Muhammad Ali. A Special Achievement Award has been won in the past by jockey Lester Piggott in both 1984 and 1994, David Walliams for swimming the English Channel in 2006 and Eddie Izzard in 2009 for his marathon running. In 2012 Lord Coe was given a Gold Award for his chairing of the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

In 2003 Gold Awards were given to Steve Redgrave and the England 1966 World Cup winning side.


2020 Sports Personality of the Year

It's not been an easy year for the sporting world and no clear candidates for the 2020 Sports Personality of the Year Award. At the start of 2020, we'd have expected heroes to be created at major events such as the Summer Olympics and Euro 2020. Neither of those events took place and the current favourite (on Aug 23) is Tyson Fury who hasn't even had a fight this year. He is due to take on Deontay Wilder in December. Lewis Hamilton is the second favourite and is already on his way to winning another Formula 1 World Title. 

Marcus Rashford is also on the shortlist, more for his off-the-field feats than those on the pitch. Ronnie O'Sullivan won his sixth World snooker title in August, could he finally win this award? There is still time for top sports stars to make their claim to be named the 2020 Sports Personality of the Year. There are two tennis Grand Slams to be played and a couple more Golf Majors. Perhaps someone like Johanna Konta or Rory McIlroy could put in some great performances. 

Ben Stokes Named 2019 BBC Sports Personality of the Year

England cricketer Ben Stokes has won the 2019 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award. The result was announced on Sunday December 15 and he is the first cricketer to win the award since Freddie Flintoff was the winner in 2005, though that year we actually won the Ashes. Stokes helped England win the World Cup in the first part of the summer and then hit a century to win England the third test in the Ashes series.

Second place went to Lewis Hamilton despite again winning the F1 world title. Another world champion Dina Asher Smith was third and the top female finisher. Anthony Joshua wasn't up for the award as his feat in regaining his world heavyweight titles happened after the nominations had been announced, even though the voting was held on the night of the awards.

Other award winners were:

  • Helen Rollason Award: Doddie Weir
  • Young Sports Personality of the Year: Caroline Dubois
  • Lifetime Achievement -  Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson
  • Coach of the Year - John Blackie
  • Team of the Year - England's cricket World Cup team.
  • World Sport Star -  Eliud Kipchoge
  • Greatest Sporting Moment - Jos Buttler breaks the stumps to seal England's World Cup win
  • Unsung Hero - Keiren Thompson


What are the BBC SPOTY Betting Markets?

Odds on the eventual winner are available now but you can also bet on who will make the Top 3 (second and third place are also handed trophies).

Odds on the separate awards from the main prize are not available.

How is the Winner of the Sports Personality of the Year Chosen?

A panel decides a short-list of ten sportsmen and women. Then the general public can vote for their winner during the awards programme shown on BBC.

Who are the previous Sports Personality of the Year winners?

A host of major sporting stars have won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. In all the award has been won 17 times by athletics stars and seven times by F1 racing drivers including Lewis Hamilton last year after he won the World title for the second time.

Athletes to win the award include Steve Ovett (1978), Seb Coe (1979), Daley Thompson (1982), Fatima Whitbread (1987) and Kelly Holmes (2004),

Footballers have only won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award on five occasions. The most recent being Ryan Giggs in 2009, the other winners were Bobby Moore (1966), Paul Gascgoine (1990), Michael Owen (1998) and David Beckham (2001).

Cricketers have won the award five times - Jim Laker (1956), David Steele (1975), Ian Botham (1981), Freddie Flintoff (2005) and Ben Stokes (2019)

The only racing jockey to win the award is Tony McCoy in 2010 but he could well win it again this year. Golfers have won the award twice - Dai Rees in 1957 and Nick Faldo in 1989. Britain's successes in ice-skating at the Winter Olympics saw John Curry win in 1976, Robin Cousins in 1980 and Torvill and Dean in 1984.

Tennis players have four wins - Ann Jones in 1969 and Virginia Wade in 1977, Greg Rusedski in 1997 and Andy Murray in 2013. Steve Davis is the only snooker player to win the award back in 1988 and Johnny Wilkinson the only rugby player winning it in 2003.

Only Henry Cooper, Damon Hill and Nigel Mansell have won the award on two occasions.

The only mother and daughter to win the award are Princess Anne in 1971 and Zara Phillips in 2006.

The first woman to be named BBC Sports Personality of the Year was swimmer Anita Lonsborough in 1962. That started a run of success for female competitors with athletes Dorothy Hyman and Mary Rand winning in 1963 and 1964,

Near Misses

Several great British competitors have never won the award. Bobby Charlton came second in both 1958 and 1959. Even scoring a hat-trick in the World Cup Final only saw Geoff Hurst come third in 1966. Golfer Tony Jacklin won the British and US Opens but still came second in both 1969 and 1970. Athlete Sally Gunnell dominated the 400m Women's Hurdles but never won the Sports Personality Award coming third in 1992 and runner-up in 1993 and 1994. The same applies for Jessica Ennis who was third in 2009 and 2010 and second in 2012. Lewis Hamilton was runner-up in 2007 and 2008 before finally winning in 2014.

Other Major Award Winners

Three sportsmen have won the Overseas Personality on three occasions - Muhammad Ali, Roger Federer and Usain Bolt.

The Team of the Year award has been won by football sides on 12 occasions with Liverpool winning the award three times but not since 2001.

The first winner of the Lifetime Achievement award was Frank Bruno in 1996. Other winners include Pele, Martina Navratilova, Sir Bobby Charlton, George Best and Seve Ballesteros.

Winners of the Helen Rollason award include Bob Champion, Paul Hunter, Tanni Grey-Thompson and Oscar Pistorius.

Diver Tom Daley has won the Young Personality of the Year on three occasions. Other notable winners are Wayne Rooney in 2002 and Andy Murray in 2004 who is the only sportsman to go on to win the Sports Personality of the Year award.


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