It’s that time of year again: the BBC’s annual vote for Sports Personality of the Year (Spoty). The Lionesses’ Beth Mead is the favorite to win the main prize after leading the side to triumph at the European Women’s Championship in July. She is, however, on a long list of potential winners.
Meanwhile, one award that has already been announced is that Argentina captain Lionel Messi, World Cup winner, is BBC Sports Personality’s 2022 Global Sports Star of the Year.
The all-time great led his country to their first World Cup triumph in 36 years in Qatar on Sunday – memorably beating France on penalties after an epic 3-3 thriller in Doha.
The Paris St-Germain striker won the tournament’s Ballon d’Or – awarded to the best player – after scoring seven goals in his fifth World Cup.
What is that?
Spoty is the BBC’s year-end sports review show which crowns Sports Personality of the Year. It remains, for the BBC at least, one of the most prestigious prizes in sport.
Officially, the award is given to the “sportsperson whose sporting actions have most captured the imagination of the British public in 2022”. Contrary to popular belief, the prize has little to do with the personality of the winner; instead, the title is a throwback to a time when the words “personality” and “person” were largely interchangeable.
Other titles awarded during the evening are Team of the Year, Global Sports Star of the Year, Coach of the Year, Young Sports Personality of the Year, the Helen Rollason Award “for Outstanding Achievement in the Face of Adversity”, Unsung Hero of the Year and a Lifetime Achievement Award.
When is it?
The TV event takes place on Wednesday 21 December with voting open to the public during the BBC programme. The show airs on BBC One.
Where is he?
The event will be broadcast live from Media City in Salford.
What time will it start?
Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. (GMT) and is due to end at 9 p.m.
How can I watch it?
BBC One and BBC iPlayer will have live coverage of the show, presented by Gabby Logan, Clare Balding, Gary Lineker and Alex Scott. Alternatively, you can follow the event by reading our live blog.
Who are the suitors?
The official shortlist is chosen by a panel of independent experts, including journalists and broadcasters. They meet in November and then in December to choose the finalists. The public is then invited to vote for the winner in a poll during the live stream.
According to the bookmakers, some of this year’s top contenders include Beth Mead, Harry Kane, Ben Stokes, Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Ronnie O’Sullivan.
The Arsenal and England striker led her national teammates to their first major title at the Women’s Euros, where she won the Golden Boot and Women’s Player of the Year for her six goals and four assists in six games. She told the Telegraph: “When I was little you couldn’t even dream of this happening because it was so fanciful it wouldn’t even have seemed possible.” In November, she was named the BBC’s Women’s Footballer of the Year, finishing second in the Ballon d’Or and UEFA Player of the Year.
While England captain Kane nearly brought it home when England finished runners-up at Euros 2021, the team’s first major final since 1966. He is England’s all-time leading goalscorer and the Premier League’s third top scorer. He scored back-to-back hat-tricks against Albania and San Marino in 2022 World Cup qualifying. His chance of winning Spoty, however, was surely compromised by his missed penalty in the England defeat in the quarter-finals in Qatar.
Stokes was named England Test team captain in April, following the resignation of Joe Root. His side quickly shut out New Zealand and then beat South Africa 2-1, in a three-game contest for which Stokes himself was named player of the series. Although 2022 was the year Stokes retired from ODI cricket, in the T20 format he scored an unbeaten 52 in the World Cup final as England beat Pakistan. More recently, his brand of attacking cricket culminated in one of the greatest ever away Test victories, when England forced a result against Pakistan in the first Test.
In September, Saka was named England’s Player of the Year and saw his stock rise at the World Cup, where he was likely England’s player of the tournament. For Arsenal, he was the Official Player of the Season in 2021-22 when he was the club’s top scorer in the Premier League. He was also nominated for the Premier League Player of the Season award and the PFA Young Player of the Year award.
Hailed for his social activism as much as his football career, the Manchester United and England striker was awarded an MBE at the age of 24 last year. As an activist, he has used his platform to raise funds and awareness about racism, homelessness and child hunger in the UK, drawing on his own experience growing up in a working class family in the Great Britain. Manchester. On the pitch, he has recently returned to form for club and country, scoring three times at the World Cup.
O’Sullivan won the 2022 World Snooker Championship, claiming his seventh world title and tying Stephen Hendry. At 46, he is also the oldest world champion. This year, O’Sullivan also won the Hong Kong Masters. Earlier in 2021 he dismissed his chances saying: “I don’t care about awards, trophies or accolades. I just want to enjoy my life, be happy and have some peace. We’re not here forever, so it’s about being satisfied.
What are the latest odds?
Beth Mead 1/20
Ronnie O’Sullivan 20/1
Ben Stokes 20/1
Who won last year’s award?
Tennis star Emma Raducanu has become the first woman in 15 years to win the award after the 19-year-old from Bromley won the US Open.
Raducanu beat Tom Daley for second and Adam Peaty for third. Her triumph in her first grand slam set new records in tennis history: she was the first qualifier to win a major title, the first player to win her second main draw appearance, the first women’s champion in 44 years and the youngest for more than 60.
At Wimbledon, she was the youngest British woman to reach the last 16 in the Open era before her early withdrawal due to breathing difficulties.