BBC Sports Personality Of The Year Betting Offers – 19th December 2023
There are few events that you can bet on that are as poorly named as the BBC Sports Personality Of The Year Award. Since 1954, the BBC has been giving an award to the person that is considered to be the finest sports personality in any given year.
Over time, new awards have been introduced, including the Overseas Personality, Team of the Year and Young Sports Personality of the Year, but the main one remains the most prestigious trophy of the lot. What might confuse you slightly is that the actual personality of the winner is irrelevant to their success, with winners over the years being the likes of David Beckham, Michael Owen and Steve Davis, with their sporting success in the year being key.
It takes place each December and the 2023 edition is no different to any other, insomuch as the winner is likely to be the person that is considered to have won the most during the previous 12 months. With some things lasting through to the end of the year, it is always interesting to see how the betting shifts the closer the awards ceremony comes about. As it is effectively a popularity contest that the British public has the final decision over thanks to voting, sports that aren’t as popular, such as golf, won’t get the votes that helping to win the Ryder Cup in Italy probably deserve.
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.
BBC Sports Personality Betting Offers for 2023
2023 BBC SPOTY Candidates
Here is a look at five names that it is at least worth considering when you’re looking at placing your bets on this year’s Sports Personality of the Year award:
Mary Earps (~1/4)
Had the Lionesses won the World Cup in August then one of the players who helped them achieve it would be a shoe-in for this award. As it happens, they made it to the final but missed out when Spain defeated them 1-0. It could’ve been worse if not for Mary Earps, who saved a penalty from Jennifer Hermoso in the 70th minute. It gave the England team a chance to get back into the game, but in the end it was a goal from Olga Carmona in the 29th minute that settled things. Earp definitely displayed her personality during the match, however, so won’t be a boring winner if she picks up the trophy.
If you’re trying to read the tea leaves to get a sense of what might happen then it is worth bearing in mind that Earps has already been named the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year. That is in no small part thanks to the three clean sheets that she kept at the World Cup, earning herself the Golden Glove award. She was also fifth in the Ballon d’Or list, which is the highest ranking that a female goalkeeper has manager. Given the fact that the Lionesses will almost certainly win the Team of the Year award, in spite of Europe’s Ryder Cup success, a win for the goalkeeper in the main award wouldn’t be outrageous.
Stuart Broad (~13/2)
If there is one thing that is likely to cause an upset at the Sports Personality of the Year award then it is a successful sportsperson deciding to retire. That has happened twice this year….sort of. One of the people that is on that list is Stuart Broad, who confirmed his decision to retire from cricket at the end of the third day’s play of of the fifth Ashes test earlier in the year. Having not long passed the 600 wicket mark, Broad referred to his time in the game as a ‘wonderful ride’, confirming that he was still loving the sport but that it felt right to ‘finish at the top’.
With England needing a win in order to draw the Ashes series this summer, which ultimately resulted in the Australians retaining the trophy, it seemed inevitable that Broad would play his part. It took England just over two hours to take the last seven wickets, with Broad being responsible for the final two. His last ball in professional cricket was to take the wicket that won England the last Ashes Test match, which is an incredible achievement. Little wonder, therefore, that his name is at least on the list for possible SPOTY winners, with the fact that the Ashes aren’t broadcast on terrestrial television anymore probably being the reason he won’t win.
Katarina Johnson-Thompson (~12/1)
Nobody from the world of athletics has won the Sports Personality of the Year award since Mo Farah managed it in 2017. The odds certainly aren’t on the side of Katarina Johnson-Thompson, therefore, but her accomplishment during 2023 mean that she should at least be considered an outsider. Having suffered heartbreak at previous World Athletics Championships and Olympics, Johnson-Thompson finally won a global outdoor title at the 2019 World Championships by breaking the British record thanks to a score of 6,981 points before suffering an injury setback.
At the age of 30, not many people gave her much of a chance in the heptathlon at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest. Johnson-Thompson, though, has that Scouse spirit that says she never knows when she’s beaten. She performed brilliantly, winning both the 200 metres and the long jump whilst performing well in all of the other events. She finished with 6,740 points, beating out American Anna Hall by 20 and reclaiming the gold medal that she’d first won four years before. It was an exceptional performance, but will it be enough to win SPOTY?
Frankie Dettori (~25/1)
The other big name that announced his retirement from his chosen sport this year is Frankie Dettori. Sort of. In the December of 2022 the diminutive Italian announced that 2023 would be his final year of racing. Having won the likes of the St Leger, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Dettori presumably felt that there wasn’t much left for him to achieve. Indeed, if he’d decided to walk away from the sport on the 28th of September 1996, having won every single race on the card during the British Festival of Racing, not many people would’ve blamed him.
Of course, winners want to win so it isn’t much of a surprise that he kept racing. It is perhaps also not much of a surprise that in October 2023 the Italian announced that, actually, he wouldn’t be walking away from professional racing after all. Instead, he plans to move to America in order to continue taking part in racing in the United States as well as on the international stage. In other words, it is just British racing that he appears to be retiring from, which is unlikely to go down too well with the British audience that will be casting their votes for the Sports Personality of the Year.
Jude Bellingham (~33/1)
Right now, Jude Bellingham is arguably the best player in the world. Everyone knew that he’d be leaving Borussia Dortmund for pastures new in the summer, with every team on the planet desperate for his signature. Having chased him for years, Liverpool felt they might have had a chance to bring him in but they fact that they didn’t make it into the Champions League places meant that he was always likely to look somewhere else. That ‘somewhere else’ happened to be Real Madrid, which isn’t a bad alternative to life on Merseyside when all things are considered.
He has absolutely torn it up in Spain, making it look as though he’s playing La Liga games with a cheat mode. Had he helped Dortmund to a Bundesliga title, which there within minutes of doing, then he might be higher on the list of possible Sports Personality of the Year award contenders. Ultimately, though, what someone does in a foreign country doesn’t count for much to the British voters and not even the Kopa Trophy in the Ballon d’Or is likely to be enough to change that. He might not win SPOTY this year, but you’d be mad to bet against him doing it at some point.
Late Entrant – Ronnie O’Sullivan (~16/1)
There is no doubt that who the bookmakers think will win the Sports Personality of the Year award changes from one minute to the next depending on what someone has achieved. Ronnie was in the running in 2022 after winning his seventh world title but was no where in 2023 until he went on to win the UK Championship in early December and his odds on winning shortened dramatically.
It was a record eighth win for O’Sullivan (from 9 finals) that propelled him on to the SPOTY shortlist this year, he won the event in 1993 when he was 17 to become the youngest champion and then also became the oldest champion in 2023 at 47. The win was also combined with the release of the docu-film about Ronnie’s 2022 World Championship win, which has further increased the already significant affection he gets from the public
That said in the past Ronnie has said some rather insulting things about how the BBC feels about snooker, so don’t expect him to be jumping for joy if he’s nominated this time around.
He once said, “You’re competing with Formula One, tennis, golf and the Olympics. They give it like 10 seconds on BBC Sports Personality – it’s a complete insult to the sport.” That he has been on the list nearly a dozen times over the years and hasn’t once managed a top 3 finish won’t have helped his feelings on the matter. That includes last year when he won a record-equalling 7th world title.
Given that there isn’t much more that O’Sullivan can do to impress people, a win this year seems unlikely when he’s up against an England football team that made a World Cup final.
Sports Personality Of The Year Format
The 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.
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.
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
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 four times (1977, 1896, 2001, 2020), more than any other footballing side.
The England National team won it in 2021, for the second time having first won it in 1966. The England Women’s National team also won for the first time in 2022 thanks to their stunning win at the Euros. That wasn’t the first win for a woman’s team, though, with the women’s rugby union squad winning in 2014 and the women’s cricket team in 2017.
BBC Sports Personality World Sport Star Of The Year Award
Previously 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
Named 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
The 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 Jürgen Klopp achieving the honour in 2020 after leading his Liverpool team to the record breaking Premier League title.
In 2007 Enzo Calzaghe became the first person to be given the award for coaching a person rather than a team.
Gareth Southgate (2018 & 2022), David Brailsford (2008 & 2012) and Arsène Wenger (2002 & 2004) have all won the award twice.
BBC Young Sports Personality Of The Year Award
This 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 (2007, 2009 & 2010). Previous well-known winners include Andy Murray and Wayne Rooney.
BBC Sports Unsung Hero Award
This 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 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
Paul 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
The 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
As 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
1999 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, including the BBC’s own media centre in Salford.
Previous Winners Since 2000
|2020||Lewis Hamilton||Formula 1||English|
|2014||Lewis Hamilton||Formula 1||English|
|2011||Mark Cavendish||Cycling||Isle of Man|
|2010||Tony McCoy||Horse Racing||Northern Irish|
|2003||Jonny Wilkinson||Rugby Union||English|
Award Breakdown By Sport
|Sport||Winners||2nd or 3rd Place|
The table above shows sports that have won at least 1 first place
Interesting BBC SPOTY Facts
The 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 four people have won the award twice: Henry Cooper, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill and Lewis Hamilton.
- Lewis Hamilton has finished in the top two more than any other person, winning it twice and finishing 2nd on four occasions.
- Only one person from outside of the UK has won the award, Irish boxer Barry McGuigan in 1985
- Athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill has achieved the most placings without winning, finishing second once and third on three occasions.
- Of those that have won the award it is Steve Davis who has the worst record with just one win from 5 podiums.
- 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