The 2020 BBC Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) Awards are only a few months away, and we have the latest odds for the award, courtesy of Paddy Power.
The shortlist for the award will be announced a few weeks before the award ceremony. The winner is determined on the night by a public telephone and online vote.
England cricketer Ben Stokes won the 2019 award. The all-rounder was an integral part of an England side that won the World Cup for the first time with a dramatic super over victory against New Zealand at Lord’s.
With the 2020 sporting calendar now looking quite different and less international events taking place, who is in the running for the 2020 award?
When Is SPOTY?
Sunday 13th December
Who’s In The Running?
Lewis Hamilton – 2/1
The 2020 Formula One World Championship is one of the few major international sporting events that took place over the last few months and with the Championship concluding in November, Lewis Hamilton is in with a chance of capturing the publics attention and taking his 2nd Sports Personality of the Year award.
Hamilton has already equaled the all-time record for career Formula 1 victories by winning the Eifel Grand Prix. It was his 91st win after which Schumacher’s son Mick presented Hamilton with one of his father’s old helmets, from his last F1 season with Mercedes in 2012, to recognise the achievement.
Hamilton is currently leading the Drivers’ Standings, so he is well on course to have a highly successful 2020.
Marcus Rashford – 5/2
He finished the Premier League season with his highest goal-scoring tally but it was his activities off the field which put him in with a fantastic chance to win this year’s award.
Back in June, Marcus Rashford called on the Government to reverse a decision not to provide free school meal vouchers during the summer, saying that “the system isn’t built for families like mine to succeed”.
The Government reversed its decision, and Rashford’s ‘victory’ over Boris Johnson caused an avalanche of memes across social media. In September, Rashford announced that he had set up the Child Food Poverty Task Force in collaboration with several UK food shops, manufacturers, charities, and delivery companies.
In recognition of his efforts, Rashford was awarded an MBE in the 2020 Birthday Honours.
He has also won the 2019/20 Premier League Academy Graduate award, succeeding Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold. The prize is handed out to those who have come through the Academy system and not only excelled with their on-field performances but also acted as role models.
Tyson Fury – 11/4
The Heavyweight Champion of the World has been a controversial figure at times. Yet, by defeating Deontay Wilder in February 2020, he catapulted his way into the attention of the public and has given himself a great chance of winning the award.
His next fight is on 19th December which comes six days after the winner of SPOTY has been announced. Will he have done enough over the year to bring in the votes?
Ronnie O’Sullivan – 5/1
Winning his 6th World Championship this year proved that very little can ever hold Ronnie O’Sullivan back.
The Rocket’s win draws him level with snooker greats Steve Davis and Ray Reardon for the number of world titles. Only Stephen Hendry has won more with seven titles.
Not one for the crowds or limelight, O’Sullivan said ‘For this year’s World Championships, there was no visitors, no guests, no one at the stage door.
“I could get in and out of Sheffield and I’ve never felt so relaxed there in my life”. He has a huge number of fans so could a SPOTY be on the cards for 2020?
Jordan Henderson – 25/1
The Liverpool Captain has had another fantastic season and finished the season by lifting the Premier League. He has already won The Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year, and this might not be the only individual award he wins this year.
SPOTY Outsiders 2020
Johanna Konta – 50/1
There has been a bit of drought in British tennis since Andy Murray started suffering from injuries. However, Johanna Konta is still flying the flag and rising through the world rankings where she is currently at number 15.
Jamie Vardy – 200/1
Winning the 2019/2020 Premier League Golden Boot might not be enough to win him the SPOTY award, but it has been another memorable season for Vardy. It is hard to believe he was playing Non-League football-only ten years ago.
Jadon Sancho – 500/1
This one would shock everyone, but it has undoubtedly been a successful year for the Borussia Dortmund player. A win this year is improbable, but with a move to Manchester United on the cards and a major International tournament to come next year, it will be worth keeping an eye on Sancho for the 2021 award.
Stuart Broad – 500/1
Despite a shortened Summer for Broad and every England Cricketer, the England Bowler picked up his 500th Test wicket.
The moment Stuart Broad took his 500th Test wicket!
— Test Match Special (@bbctms) July 28, 2020
There are still a few Tests left to play this year and more success over the next few weeks and months could lead to him getting more media and public attention.
Past SPOTY Winners
Ben Stokes – 2019
An incredible 2019 for Ben Stokes saw him with the award after being an integral part of England’s Cricket World Cup-winning side and the Ashes squad. Who will ever forget those incredible performances at Lords and Headingley? Watch the moment Ben Stokes was announced as the winner.
Geraint Thomas – 2018
The 2018 Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas rode on a wave of public support to win the award. He was the fourth cyclist since 2008 to win the award after Sir Chris Hoy, Mark Cavendish and Sir Bradley Wiggins.
Mo Farah – 2017
The Olympic hero had been a 50/1 outsider with bookmakers to win the award, with the boxer Anthony Joshua considered the overwhelming favourite. Perhaps an indication that any of the contenders can take home the 2020 award.
Sports Personality History and Trends
Sir Christopher John Chataway was the first winner of the award, back in 1954. This came following a Gold Medal in the ‘3 Miles’ event at the 1954 Commonwealth Games.
Bobby Moore was the first footballer to win the award in 1966, being an integral part of the first and only England football team to win a major honour clearly helped his chances. England will be one of the favourites to win the 2021 European Championships, so several players could fancy their chances of winning the 2021 award.
Andy Murray currently has the most award wins with 3. He won it last in 2016 when he won an Olympic Gold Medal alongside the Wimbledon title.
Since inception, 18 SPOTY winners have come from Athletics world, and only five winners have been footballers. There has also been an obvious shortage of female recipients of the award so will that change this year?
Looking through the list of winners, there does seem to be specific visible trends. Being part of a successful team or event can undoubtedly increase your chances. Bradley Wiggins took home the 2012 award, but that could have gone to any of Team GB’s heroes from the 2012 Olympics. Andrew Flintoff won in 2005 after playing an important role in England regaining the Ashes.
Tips for Sports Personality of the Year
Marcus Rashford is currently looking a good bet and his off the pitch work might just prove enough to get him the award. When it comes down to the public vote, Rashford will have plenty of fans willing to pick up the phone and give him the thumbs up.
Lewis Hamilton is also a decent shout with odds of 2/1. For those wanting to win big odds, Ben Stokes at 50/1 might be worth a look. Despite winning last year, he could be on for the double as his legions of fans register their votes.
The BBC Sports Team of the Year Award is also presented on the night. The current holders are the England Cricket team. Unlike the main award, it’s not decided by public vote.
With many sporting competitions set to be decided over the few months, there is plenty of time for contenders to emerge. Having just ended their 30-year wait for a league title, Liverpool will fancy their chances of lifting more silverware this year.
Head to Paddy Power for all the latest odds on the 2020 Sports Personality of the Year.