BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2020: Spoty nominees, winner odds, how to vote - and what Tyson Fury has said

Six sportspeople are in the running to become BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2020
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The world of sport may have looked very different in 2020, but despite a calendar rocked by pandemic-triggered hiatuses and fan-less returns to competition, the BBC is still honouring its greatest achievers with its annual Sports Personality of the Year award.

With major events such as Wimbledon, the Olympics, the Open, and Euro 2020 not taking place as planned, there had been uncertainty over the 2020 edition of the long-running annual TV programme.

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The show will "not only celebrate the very best of elite sport this year”, but will also reflect how “ordinary members of the public and unsung heroes all over the UK have used the power of sport to keep the nation going through challenging times,” a statement read.

The nominees for the 2020 Sports Personality of the Year award have been announced (Photos: PA Wire/PA Images)The nominees for the 2020 Sports Personality of the Year award have been announced (Photos: PA Wire/PA Images)
The nominees for the 2020 Sports Personality of the Year award have been announced (Photos: PA Wire/PA Images)

Here is everything you need to know.

When is Sports Personality of the Year 2020?

The BBC Sports Personality of Year awards will take place on Sunday 20 December, and will be screened live from Media City in Salford on BBC One.

Last year’s show was staged in Aberdeen and England cricketer Ben Stokes was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 2019.

In a public vote, Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton finished second while sprinter Dina Asher-Smith was third.

Who’s in the running?

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Lewis Hamilton has won SPOTY once before in 2014 and has been the runner-up four times, and has already wrapped up a seventh Formula One world title, tying Michael Schumacher’s record.

Hamilton has previously explained in 2018 that he found such shows “awkward”, and adding: “I don’t really think about it.”

Like Hamilton, Stuart Broad is another hugely experienced figure within British sport. The pace bowler became only the second Englishman after his long-time team-mate Jimmy Anderson to take his 500th Test wicket during the third match against West Indies this summer.

Jordan Henderson’s growth from Liverpool misfit to Champions League and Premier League-winning captain has earned him a spot on the shortlist.

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An integral part of Jurgen Klopp’s side and captain since 2015, the 30-year-old’s influence peaked last season, and it was fitting that he should be the man that lifted the trophy.

Hollie Doyle’s nomination is the the first from horse racing since 2013; the 24-year-old became the first woman to win fives races on the same card in the UK, at odds of 899-1 at Windsor, and broke her own record for the most winners in a calendar year by a female jockey when she reached 117.

Ronnie O’Sullivan is regarded by many as snooker’s greatest player. A victory at the Crucible in August made him world champion for a sixth time this year, equaling the tallies of Steve Davis and Ray Reardon, one behind record-holder Stephen Hendry.

After being overlooked for a place on the shortlist in 2019, O’Sullivan insisted he was not “politically correct” enough to feature, and added: “I’d rather take another few world titles and tournaments than a personality award.”

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After securing the WBA, WBO and IBF crowns with victory over Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, self-proclaimed “Gypsy King" Tyson Fury did not have another bout for two-and-a-half years, during which he battled depression and ballooned in weight.

But in 2020, Fury took a remarkable comeback to new heights in February when he won his rematch against Deontay Wilder, with a superb performance over seven rounds to claim the WBC heavyweight title.

How do I vote?

As always the winner will be decided by the public, and voting will be open during the Sports Personality programme on BBC One on Sunday 20 December.

Who is favourite to win?

According to Oddschecker, Lewis Hamilton is currently the bookies’ favourite to scoop the award.

The best odds on each nominee are as follows:

- Lewis Hamilton: 1/3

- Ronnie OSullivan: 6/1

- Jordan Henderson: 8/1

- Tyson Fury: 9/1

- Hollie Doyle: 22/1

- Stuart Broad: 100/1

Why does Tyson Fury want to be removed?

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On 1 December, Fury used an Instagram post on Wednesday to demand the corporation remove his name while urging his fans not to vote for him.

The world heavyweight champion wrote on his Instagram account: “This is a message for @bbcsport and their SPOTY award – please take me off your list as I’m the people’s champion and have no need for verification or any awards.

“I know who I am and what I’ve done in the sport. I have the love of the people which means more to me than all the awards in the world. To anyone who supports me, don’t vote.”

However, he has since been told by the BBC that he will remain on its shortlist for Sports Personality of the Year, and the programme will continue to celebrate his achievements irrespective of his desire to participate.

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A BBC Spokesperson said: “The shortlist is decided by an independent expert panel who choose contenders based on their sporting achievement in a given year.

“On this basis Tyson Fury will remain on the list for SPOTY 2020. It is of course up to Tyson if he chooses to participate in the show.”

Fury’s previous appearance on the shortlist in 2015 caused controversy, with over 100,000 people signing a petition calling for the boxer’s removal over a series of outspoken comments on homophobia and abortion.