With the SPOTY nominees being announced a few hours ago, and after looking through the list and even before the list was announced, I have to say that there can only be one winner and that has got to be the world’s best tennis player, Andy Murray. The Scot has had a phenomenal year which has seen him win Wimbledon, the Tour Finals, a gold medal at the Olympics as well as finishing the year as world number 1, not to forget that he also became a dad for the first time in 2016. To win the SPOTY award this year would make him the first star to win it for a third time and undoubtedly cement his place as one of the nation’s greatest ever sportsperson.
As much as Andy is the favourite to collect the award at the ceremony in Birmingham on the 18th December, he has got some good competition who each have a good reason as to why they should walk away on the night with the award. Let’s have a look at some of them:
Gareth Bale (Footballer) – ‘Mr Wales’ helped the national side reach the semi-finals of the European Championships in what was the country’s first major tournament in 58 years by scoring three goals, including a free-kick against England.
Adam Peaty (Swimmer) – The baby-faced swimmer from Uttoxeter broke his own world record in the men’s 100m breaststroke, which meant that he was the first British man to win an Olympic gold in the pool in 28 years.
Laura Kenny (Cyclist) – Nominated alongside her husband, Jason, Mrs Kenny became the first British woman to win four Olympic gold medals.
Jamie Vardy (Footballer) – There was a Vardy party all year long as the former Fleetwood Town man helped outsiders Leicester City to the Premier League title, whilst also breaking Ruud van Nistelrooy’s Premier League record for consecutive goals scored.
Danny Willett (Golfer) – Shocked the world by winning the Masters which meant that he became the first Brit to triumph at Augusta in two decades.
The other contenders are Nicola Adams (Boxer), Alistair Brownlee (Triathlete), Sophie Christiansen (Equestrian), Kadeena Cox (Athlete/Cyclist), Mo Farah (Athlete), Jason Kenny (Cyclist), Kate Richardson-Walsh (Hockey), Nick Skelton (Equestrian), Dame Sarah Storey (Cyclist) and Max Whitlock (Gymnast).
Whoever comes away with the award on the 18th December, we can all safely say that it has been a very excellent year for the nation in terms of sporting achievements. Good luck to all who have been nominated!