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BBC Sports Personality Of The Year Betting Offers – December 2020

bbc sports personality of the year trophyThere are few events that you can bet on that are as poorly named as the BBC Sports Personality Of The Year Award. Going off its title you’d assume that the winner would need to have some sort of personality to speak of, but that is invariably not the case. Instead it is essentially an award that rewards the finest sporting accomplishment during the previous year, so how competitive it is depends entirely on how many big moments there have been over the last twelve months. If it’s a World Cup, Olympic or European Champions year then you can expect more people to be seen as ‘favourites’ than if not much has happened lately.

The awards show takes place every year in December, often seeing the great and the good from the world of sport gathering together to honour the person that is seen as having pulled off the most noteworthy accomplishment. The show originally boasted just one award, the Sports Personality Of The Year Award, but over they years more and more have been added so that now the Overseas Personality Of The Year, the Team Of The Year and the Young Sports Personality Of The Year, amongst others, are all recognised for their achievements.

Here we’ll look at the event as a whole, giving you hints and tips about what to bear in mind as well as how it has changed over the years.  Of course we’ve also hunted down any decent offers that could enhance your betting too.

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BBC SPOTY 2020 Odds

Site Asher-Smith Harry Kane Adam Peaty AJ Hamilton Visit
william hill 7/1 9/1 8/1 12/1 8/1
T&Cs apply 18+
bet365 5/1 6/1 14/1 25/1 10/1
T&Cs apply 18+
coral 7/1 16/1 16/1 16/1 12/1
T&Cs apply 18+

Odds updated 27/12/2019

Sports Personality Of The Year Format

british broadcasting corporation signThe winner of the Sports Personality Of The Year Award always comes from a shortlist that is announced to the public a few weeks before the award itself. Originally it was decided courtesy of a panel of 30 sports journalists who would each submit a list of 10 possible contenders. That process continued until it was criticised in 2011 when it produced a shortlist that was made up entirely of male sports personalities.

From 2012 onwards an expert panel has been used to decide who should be on the shortlist. They are tasked with creating a shortlist that most accurately reflects the achievements in sport on the national and international stage, taking into account the likes of impact within and beyond the sport itself. They look at a large amount of UK sports, ensuring that the actual sporting achievement is the most important thing.

The nominees don’t have to be British, but their accomplishment has to have been achieved in Great Britain for them to be considered. The likes of speedway star Barry Briggs and jockey Frankie Dettori have both the award because of what they did during the sporting year that won the appreciation of the British public.

Once the shortlist has been created it then goes before the public on the night of the vote and the winner is determined according to a telephone and online vote. Whilst the tagline for the award is that it is given for ‘excellence in sporting achievement’, it can often come down to who the audience likes and knows rather than the level of the sporting achievement attained by the nominees.


bbc spoty awards

The award itself that is given to the Sports Personality Of The Year is a camera that has four turret lenses on it. It is plated in silver and has three legs, sitting on top of a base that is covered in shields denoting the previous winners.

The other awards that are also given out during the ceremony are simply smaller versions of that same trophy.

Other Awards

There are a number of awards that are given out every year at the same time as the Sports Personality Of The Year, whilst there are also some that have been awarded sporadically over the years.

Here’s a look at the main ones:

BBC Sports Team Of The Year Award

league cup liverpool dominance

This award is for ‘the team in an individual sport or sporting discipline that has achieved the most notable performance in the calendar year to date. The team should have significant UK interest or involvement”.

Unlike the main award, which is voted on by the public, the winner of this award is decided on by an expert panel, which is selected by the BBC. That system has been in place since 2012, with the award being decided by a panel of 30 journalists before that.

First presented in 1960, it has been shared twice to date. There’s no specific information on the size of the team that can win this award, with a team of 2 doing so in 1982, 1983, 1992 and 1996, whilst the British Olympic and Paralympic teams won it in 2012.

The England national rugby union team and the Ryder Cup team have won the award the joint-most times, whilst Celtic became the first football club to win it when they also became the inaugural British winners of the European Cup in 1967. Liverpool Football Club have won it more than any other footballing side.

BBC Sports Personality World Sport Star Of The Year Award

roger federerPreviously known as the Overseas Sports Personality Of The Year, this trophy is for a non-British sports star sporting star that has made a big contribution to sport over the previous twelve months. This award was also presented for the first time in 1960 when the Australian middle-distance runner Herb Elliott was the recipient.

The leading recipient of the award is Roger Federer, with the tennis player being given it four times to date. Muhammad Ali and the Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt are not far behind with three awards apiece. The award has also been shared three times at the time of writing, which were as follows:

  • 1965: Ron Clarke and Gary Player
  • 1966: Eusébio and Garfield Sobers
  • 1996: Evander Holyfield and Michael Johnson

When Oleg Protopopov and Ludmila Belousova won it in 1968 they became the only pair to have done so. Lanve Armstrong, meanwhile, is the only person to have had the award stripped from him. He won it in 2003 but that was rescinded in the wake of the UCI’s decision to take his titles from him for doping.

BBC Sports Personality Of The Year Helen Rollason Award

helen rollasonNamed in honour of Helen Rollason, the first female presenter of Grandstand who died of cancer in 1999, the award is presented to some who has shown ‘outstanding achievement in the face of adversity’. It’s a fittingly named award, given that Rollason spent the time she had after her diagnosis raising £5 million for a cancer wing to be set up at the North Middlesex Hospital.

Recipients of the award include the likes of Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius, Jane Tomlinson, who completed challenges in order to raise money for charity after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, and Anne Williams, who was given the award posthumously after campaigning on behalf of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster.

If you’re interested in some stats then more English people have won it than any other nation, whilst athletics is the sport that has provided the most winners at the time of writing. In 2008 Alastair Hignell, who was both a cricket and rugby union player, won the award for raising both funds and awareness for multiple sclerosis, after having been diagnosed with the illness.

BBC Sports Personality Of The Year Coach Award

bbc spoty coach of the year award gareth southgateThe award has been given since 1999, with the panel of 30 journalists that were used for other awards deciding who should get it. That year they opted for Alex Ferguson after his Manchester United team completed a Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble, as well as winning the Intercontinental Cup.

Football managers have won the award more often than any other sport, with Gareth Southgate achieving the honour in 2018 after leading his England team to the World Cup semi-finals. In 2007 Enzo Calzaghe became the first person to be given the award for coaching a person rather than a team.

BBC Young Sports Personality Of The Year Award

wayne rooney bbc young spoty winnerThis is for sportspeople under the age of 17 on the first of January in the year that the award is given. Non-Brits are eligible to be entered for the award as long as they are resident in the UK, with Brits being nominated for it most often. The nominees for the award are put forward by the Youth Sport Trust, with a judging panel creating a ten-person shortlist before later deciding upon the winner courtesy of a secret ballot.

This was originally the BBC Sports Personality Of The Year Newcomer Award and was open to people aged 25 and under. It was replaced in 2001 by the current iteration of the award, with diver Tom Daley being the only person to date to win it more than once. Previous well-known winners include Andy Murray and Wayne Rooney.

BBC Sports Unsung Hero Award

unsung heroThis award is given to a sportsperson who has made what the voters consider to be a ‘substantiative yet unrecognised contribution to sport’. It is one of the only award in which the nominees are put forward by the pubic, with the requirements being that they can’t be nominated by themselves or their immediate family and have to be 16 or over at the start of the year.

The award was given for the first time in 2003 and there are regional nominees. One winner comes from each of the 12 BBC English Regions and from the 3 national regions of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The winner is then chosen from the fifteen-person shortlist by a judging panel.

BBC Sports Personality Of The Year Lifetime Achievement Award

frank brunoFrank Bruno was the first person to be given the award, the winner of which is decided by BBC Sport and needs to have made a ‘major impact on the world of sport during their lifetime’. Bruno won it in 1996 and Spanish golfer Seve Ballesteros won it the year after, but at that stage it hadn’t been decided that it would be an annual award. That only came into effect in 2001, the year that Alex Ferguson was presented with it.

Martina Navratilova became the first woman to win the award when she was presented with it in 2003. The award is not one in which the recipient needs to be British or based in the UK, with the likes of Pelé Bjö Borg and Michael Phelps all having won it at one time or another. That being said, more people based in the UK have won it than all other nations put together. Football is the sport that has provided the winner of the award the most often.

History Of Sports Personality Of The Year

bbc signPaul Fox was the editor of Sportsview, the magazine show, in the 1950s when he came up with the idea of the Sports Personality Of The Year Award. Once the notion of it was approved, Peter Dimmock hosted the show as part of Sportsview on the 30th of December 1954. It lasted for around 45 minutes and took place at the Savoy Hotel in London. The public voted by postcard to decide who had achieved the most that year in a sporting sense, with the middle and long-distance runner Christopher Chataway beating Roger Bannister for the prize.

More than 14,000 votes were cast in the inaugural version of the event, with the stipulation being that the sports person had to have appeared on Sportsview during the year in order to qualify. That most people know the name of the person who ran the 4-minute mile decades later and few people would known who Christopher Chataway was tells you that the voters don’t always make the right decision! In 1955 the show was retitled as Sports Review Of The Year and the programme that showed it was longer, lasting for 75 minutes rather than the original 45.

Developments In The 1960s

peter dimmock bbc spotyThe first real development to the newly created awards show came in 1960. Dimmock was still presenting but it had moved to BBC Television Centre and two new awards had been added to the roster. The Cooper Car Company were the inaugural recipients of the Team Of The Year Award, whilst Herb Elliott was named the Overseas Personality Of The Year. Another big change took place the year after when David Coleman came on board as a co-presenter, remaining in his role until 1983.

Anita Lonsbrough, the swimmer, made history in 1962 when she became the first woman to win the main prize. It was something of a glass ceiling moment, with females winning it for the next two years. At the end of the 1960s Don Revie was rewarded for his work with Leeds United by being named the Manager Of The Year, but that was the only time that that particular award was presented. Henry Cooper, who has won the award for the first time in 1967, became the first person to win it twice when he was on the receiving end of it again in 1970.

The Award Finds Its Feet

des lynam bbc spotyAs the 1960s moved into the 1970s the Sports Personality Of The Year Award began to settle in terms of what it was. The likes of Jimmy Hill, Cliff Morgan, Kenneth Wolstenholme and Harry Carpenter had turns presenting it, with Des Lynam taking over duties in 1983. That was the first year before more than one person received the award when Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean won it as a duo in 1984. That wasn’t the only first of the 1980s, with the Special Team Award being presented to the Great Britain men’s 4 x 400 metre relay team in 1986.

There was something of a controversial moment in 1991. The Angling Times ran a campaign to get angler Bob Nudd the award, only for the BBC to decide that this was against the spirit of the competition. They discarded any ballot that was cast on a form printed in the Angling Times, meaning that the athlete Liz McColgan ended up as the winner. In 1996 there was another first; the Lifetime Achievement Award was created and given to boxer Frank Bruno. The biggest change in decades came about in 1999 when the show was renamed as Sports Personality Of The Year.

The Modern Day Awards

bbc spoty presenters1999 proved to be an important year for more reasons than just the new moniker of the show. Three new awards were introduced alongside the main one, with the Coach Of The Year and Newcomer Of The Year both being recognised. The Helen Rollason Award was also offered to the person that had shown ‘outstanding courage and achievement in the face of adversity’. There was also a unique award presented to Mohammad Ali, who was named the Sports Personality Of The Century.

Another big change came about in 2006 when the awards ceremony was held outside of London for the first time. It was hosted by Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre, with another first being the availability of tickets for the public. Two years later and the event was moved to Liverpool’s Echo Arena, partly because of the fact that the city had been named the European Capital Of Culture that year and partly because it had a larger capacity than the NEC. In the years since then it has moved around different venues.

Previous Winners Since 2000

Year Winner Sport Nationality
2020 ? ? ?
2019 Ben Stokes Cricket English
2018 Geraint Thomas Cycling Welsh
2017 Mo Farah Athletics English
2016 Andy Murray Tennis Scottish
2015 Andy Murray Tennis Scottish
2014 Lewis Hamilton Formula 1 English
2013 Andy Murray Tennis Scottish
2012 Bradley Wiggins Cycling English
2011 Mark Cavendish Cycling Isle of Man
2010 Tony McCoy Horse Racing Northern Irish
2009 Ryan Giggs Football Welsh
2008 Chris Hoy Cycling Scottish
2007 Joe Calzaghe Boxing Welsh
2006 Zara Phillips Eventing English
2005 Andrew Flintoff Cricket English
2004 Kelly Holmes Athletics English
2003 Jonny Wilkinson Rugby Union English
2002 Paula Radcliffe Athletics English
2001 David Beckham Football English
2000 Steve Redgrave Rowing English

Award Breakdown By Sport

Sport Winners 2nd or 3rd Place
Athletics 18 33
Formula 1 7 10
Tennis 6 4
Football 5 16
Boxing 5 5
Cycling 5 1
Cricket 5 6
Figure Skating 3 1
Golf 2 7
Swimming 2 8
Eventing 2 1
Snooker 1 6
Rugby Union 1 5
Rowing 1 3
Motorbike Racing 1 2
Show Jumping 1 6
Horse Racing 1 3

Interesting BBC SPOTY Facts

andy murrayThe BBC Sports Personality Of The Year Award has been going for more than six decades, so it’s no major surprises that there are a few interesting facts associated with it. Here’s a look at the major ones:

  • At the time of writing Andy Murray is the only person to win the SPOTY three times, just three people have won the award twice: Henry Cooper, Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill
  • Only one person from outside of the UK has won the award, Irish boxer Barry McGuigan in 1985
  • Snooker player Steve Davis has finished in the top three more than other sportsperson, doing so five times and winning it once
  • Princess Anne won it in 1971 and Zara Phillips did so in 2006, making them the only members of the same family to have won the award
  • Dai Rees won it in 1957 aged 44, being the oldest recipient of the award
  • Ian Black won it in 1958 aged 17, becoming the youngest winner
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