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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. The 2017 edition will be held at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.

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.

2018 BBC Sports Personality of the Year

We're less than a month away from the 2018 BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards on December 16. Unlike in previous years there's no shortlist being released before the big night but it's not difficult to work out who the main contenders are this year.

  • Geraint Thomas is the current favourite and you can get odds of 6/4 at Paddy Power. He won the Tour de France this year and is bound to get the lion share of Welsh votes.
  • Harry Kane is second favourite after a successful season with Tottenham and winning the Golden Boot at the 2018 World Cup. If he'd shown better form in the knock-out stages or won something with Spurs he might have more chance.
  • Lewis Hamilton - Again won the F1 world title this year but has yet to convert that into winning this trophy.
  • Tyson Fury - He's now 9/2 at Paddy Power after his draw with Deontay Wilder. Mind you, he does tend to be a bit outspoken and that could damage his chances.
  • Dina Asher-Smith - 100m and 200m European Athletics Champion, now if it'd been Olympic titles she might win.

Mo Farah Wins  2017 BBC Sports Personality of the Year

The 2017 BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards took place on Sunday December 17 and there was a surprise winner. The odds-on favourite for the trophy had been World Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua but he could only manage to finish fourth in the public vote.

It was Mo Farah, who won the 10,000m World Title this year, who received the award with 83,524 votes finishing just under 3,000 votes ahead of World Superbikes Champion Jonathan Rea. There had been a big campaign for Rea who has won the World title for the past three years. Third place went to Jonnie Peacock who won a gold medal at the IPC World Championships this year but to be fair, got so many votes because of his performance in Strictly Come Dancing. He finished just 18 votes ahead of fourth placed Anthony Joshua.  Top finishing female competitor was England cricket hero Anya Shrubsole.

Other Winners

  • Team of the Year -  England Women's Cricket Team
  • Coaches of the Year - Blenke Blomkvist, Stephen Maguire and Christian Malcolm - Coaches of Team GB's 4x100m Relay team
  • Overseas Personality of the Year - Roger Federer
  • Lifetime Achievement - Jessica Ennis-Hill
  • Helen Rollason Award - Bradley Lowery
  • Young Sports Persoality of the Year - Phil Foden
  • Unsung Sports Hero - Denise Larrod

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 four times - Jim Laker (1956), David Steele (1975), Ian Botham (1981) and Freddie Flintoff (2005).

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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