After a busy weekend of sport involving some of the biggest names in British sport, at PHA Media, we thought now seemed an appropriate time to take stock and have a look at the leading candidates for this year’s BBC Sport Personality of The Year.
We’ve teamed up with online bookmakers, BetVictor to give you the latest odds for the frontrunners should you fancy a little flutter on the outcome.
Jessica Ennis-Hill – 7/4
What a remarkable turnaround for this woman. Just 13 months after giving birth to her son, Reggie, Ennis-Hill completed a fairy-tale comeback to major competitions this weekend with a quite stunning victory in the heptathlon at the World Championships in Beijing. Unsure of whether to compete at all just weeks before the event, her journey and ability to battle through moments of self-doubt have really captured the imagination and hearts of a nation once more. Her immense popularity, marketability and her role in London 2012’s ‘Super Saturday’, means she is the current favourite and with good reason.
Chris Froome – 4/1
Arguably the man on the list with the greatest achievement in the calendar year so far; yet Froome is not the fans favourite that his displays deserve. To win one Tour de France is superb (and helped Bradley Wiggins win SPOTY in 2012) but to win it for a second time is quite exceptional. Unfortunately, he was haunted with controversy throughout his ride, thanks to his sport’s abysmal reputation and some questionable media coverage, but this shouldn’t have any sort of bearing on the man’s remarkable feat. It may be the Kenyan twang in his accent or his perceived lack of personality that have failed to fully establish his place as a true sporting legend with the British public, but either way, he deserves to be in with a real shot of claiming this year’s main prize.
Lewis Hamilton – 6/1
One of the greatest drivers of all time with unadulterated natural talent or simply a flashy upstart intent on making the most of his celebrity status? Whichever side of the fence you fall on, it has so far been a pretty convincing defence of his F1 title, as he claimed his sixth victory in 11 races with his win in Belgium this weekend. The 2014 SPOTY winner is never too far from the limelight with a Wimbledon dress code faux pas and a rumoured relationship with Rihanna but the man is bloody quick on four wheels. If he goes on as expected to defend his crown, he’ll be in with a shout but his win last time around and a seat in the best performing car will count against him in the eyes of the British public.
AP McCoy – 10/1
Undoubtedly the greatest jump jockey of all time, McCoy announced his retirement this year after a truly stellar career. His crowning moment, for most, coming in the 2010 Grand National when he rode Don’t Push It to a famous victory, which also earned him the SPOTY main award that year. Still a fine year by anyone’s standards, the County Antrim born jockey, missed out on a farewell National victory but his inclusion as one of the favourites feels more of an emotional and well-deserved send-off as opposed to a genuine claim to repeat his 2010 achievement. An outsider for once.
Andy Murray – 10/1
After a truly memorable 2013 which culminated in his maiden Wimbledon crown and the BBC SPOTY award, 2014 was by Murray’s standards a little disappointing. Dogged with injury, he struggled to recapture his best form from the previous year but 2015 has been far more encouraging. Only a super-human serving performance from Roger Federer stopped him making the Wimbledon final and after climbing back up to world number two, ahead of the Swiss, and a recent victory against Novak Djokovic in Cincinnati, he looks in good shape for the US Open. While a good year for the Scot, which would be nicely crowned with victory at Flushing Meadows, the British public still remain only truly captivated by Wimbledon success, so unlikely to repeat 2013’s triumph.
Joe Root – 14/1
In a real topsy-turvy Ashes series, Root seemed to be the only Englishman consistently able to bat and the only one to score a ton. The Yorkshireman scored 460 runs at an average of 57.50, including two centuries to firmly cement himself as both his country’s and the world’s best batsman. A hugely popular character both on and off the field for his breath-taking strokeplay, cheeky grin and British sense of humour will see him come close, but unlikely to claim the top prize. His performances in the UAE against Pakistan in October/November could still have an impact.
Chris Robshaw – 40/1
This is very much my outside bet and one that I am tempted to place a few quid on despite a lack of interest from the bookies. Ever since becoming the England Rugby Captain in January 2012 in just his second cap, Robshaw has not been everyone’s cup of tea; many calling for ‘an out and out number 7’ to lead the charge in his stead. What cannot be denied are the character, leadership and work-rate of the man who is charged with leading England to World Cup glory on home soil this coming autumn. Should England achieve this (as a Welshman I sincerely hope not!), then is it highly likely Robshaw will be a prominent figure and firmly in the minds of the voting public.
All odds courtesy of BetVictor.
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