BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2015
Date: Sunday December 20.
Venue: SSE Arena, Belfast.
Time: 6.50pm-9pm GMT.
TV: BBC One (overseas viewers can follow the awards on the BBC Sport website)
TYSON FURY aims to become only the fifth boxer in 61 years to win the BBC Sports personality of the Year award. We’ll find out on Sunday evening if, after vanquishing Wladimir Klitschko, who had not been beaten for over a decade, to win the world heavyweight title, Fury can make history for the second time this year and take the 2015 honour. You can vote either by phone on the night or online (once you have registered) by CLICKING HERE. In the meantime, here are a list of all 12 nominees, including Fury, the betting odds (courtesy of William Hill) and why they are in with a shout.
• Andy Murray 4/6 favourite
THE Scot won this two years ago after making history by winning Wimbledon but arguably guiding his country to Davis Cup victory for the first time in 79 years is a greater achievement. He also benefits, like Fury, from his accomplishment taking place only a few weeks ago (in fact the day after Fury had dethroned Klitschko).
• Lewis Hamilton (last year’s winner) 25/1
SURPRISINGLY wide odds considering Hamilton won his third Formula 1 title – only the second British man to do so after Sir Jackie Stewart. Could this be due to his taking the award last year? Only three men have won the award twice (Henry Cooper, Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill) and never in consecutive years.
• Jessica Ennis-Hill 2/1 second favourite
THIS one is all about the context. Winning a second heptathlon world championship is pretty impressive in itself, but to do so just 13 months after giving birth (no easy task in itself) is what sets Ennis-Hill apart. But bear in mine she only came second in 2012 after starring in the London Olympics.
• Mo Farah 100/1
HE’S been third and fourth (twice) before, but this year two world titles – in the 5,000m and 10,000m may not be enough to climb the charts. Those wooden advert performances for Quorn can’t have helped either.
• Tyson Fury 14/1
WHERE do we begin? That Fury remains fourth favourite after controversial comments prompted a petition to remove him from the shortlist is testament to his character and personality – what this award is supposed to be about right? And how funny would it be if the public delivered a massive middle finger to the establishment who call the traveller a bigot? It looks unlikely but he did become a British world heavyweight champion, on hostile away turf, as a big underdog against a champion that had not lost for absolute ages. Previous boxers to win are Henry Cooper (1967 and 1970), Lennox Lewis (1999) and Joe Calzaghe (2007).
• Lucy Bronze 250/1
WHILE it would be a heartening sign of progress if this female footballer were to triumph, the lack of media attention paid to the pursuit – despite the World Cup in which the Manchester City defended played a key role garnering significant column inches this year –renders her a non-starter.
• Chris Froome 66/1
THE Team Sky ace won his second Tour de France in three years and is both only the second Brit to win that coveted prize and the only man from these shores to do it twice. But he only came sixth the first time around.
• Greg Rutherford 150/1
BRIEFLY threatened to boycott the event due to Fury’s inclusion, but with those odds he may as well stay at home. Long jumper Rutherford’s World gold completed the set, having already trousered European, Commonwealth and Olympic top spots, but the fact this is his first nomination, despite taking his Games gold in London in 2012, tells you all about his humility and subsequent low profile.
• Max Whitlock 250/1
THE first ever British man to win gold at the World Gymnastics Championships took the prize in the pommel horse. That it is gymnastics should explain why Whitlock is only 250-1.
• Adam Peaty 250/1
AGED just 20, Peaty is the new star of British swimming but with no Olympics as a focal point for the media and a lack of name recognition, he will be be outside the top places here. He did become the first male to win both 50m and 100m sprints at the Worlds and also added a relay gold.
• Kevin Sinfield 7/1 third favourite
LEEDS Rhinos legend recently ended a long and glorious Rugby League career to switch to Union. No one in the BN team had heard of him so we presume those generous odds are based on the wider public’s affinity with the sport.
• Lizzie Armitstead 250/1
RANK outsider for this gong won the world road race title in the US and also took the British crown 11 days after a crash. Cyclist will struggle due to lack of focus on her sport in a non-Olympic year.