10 sporting stars you forgot were nominated for BBC’s SPOTY ahead of 2021 award

The 2021 BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards are fast approaching and the best of Britain’s successful sports stars and athletes have rightfully taken their place on the list of nominations.

The criteria for winning the award refers to how sporting achievements reflect on the national or international stage and its impact on sport as a whole.

Amongst the six candidates for the 2021 award are diver Tom Daley, swimmer Adam Peaty, tennis sensation Emma Raducanu, and Manchester City footballer Raheem Sterling.

Formula One’s seven-time champion Sir Lewis Hamilton won the award in 2020 but the 36-year-old has not made the cut this year, having lost his grip on the drivers’ title to Max Verstappen.

Lewis Hamilton won the 2020 SPOTY award


Getty Images)

Since 2012, the shortlist has been announced a few weeks before the award ceremony and the winner is chosen from the last six names, with the public voting by phone and online.

But before then, the list of nominees used to be a lot longer, allowing athletes from across the UK to be included – some of whom have not been heard from a lot since.

And while some of them did go on to take the prize, there have been some bizarre entrants included down the years. Mirror Sport looks back on 10 of the stars you most certainly forgot in the SPOTY awards…

Who should win the 2021 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award? Comment below.

Princess Anne — 1971

Princess Anne received the award in 1971 – and 35 years before her daughter followed in her path

As if being a member of the Royal Family is not enough, Princess Anne’s career as an took off when at the age of just 21.

She won the individual event at the European Eventing Championship at Burghley with her thoroughbred Doublet, which was gifted to her by her mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

She became the first member of the Royal Family to do so and it was most peculiar to see her collect the award with Manchester United legend George Best in second place after a fine season in 1971-72.

Barry McGuigan — 1985

Barry McGuigan remains the only non-British winner of the award

In terms of a sporting achievement, what Barry McGuigan achieved by winning the world championship against Eusebio Pedroza was worthy of being nominated for the 1985 SPOTY award.

But there was one exception which made the boxer stand out from the rest of the crowd: he was Irish.

To date, McGuigan is the only Sports Personality of the Year winner to come from outside England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man.

Tyson Fury — 2021

Tyson Fury claims he did not want to be nominated for the award

Is there anything more typical than for Tyson Fury to go anti-establishment and refuse to accept his nomination for the 2021 Sports Personality of the Year award?

The Mancunian boxer has enjoyed a phenomenal year after knocking out Deontay Wilder in their third bout, retaining his WBC heavyweight title.

But he threatened to sue the BBC if he was nominated and, of course, he was, prompting the 6ft 7 to reignite their feud over a petition to ban him.

“It means nothing to me and I don’t need it or want it” he said. “In fact, they will hear from my solicitors if they do put me on the list. Give it to someone who needs it. I don’t.”

If Fury was to win it, it could represent one of the biggest turnarounds in SPOTY history.

Johanna Konta — 2017

Johanna Konta has retired from women’s tennis without winning a Grand Slam

The Australian-born player became the first woman representing Britain to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals since Virginia Wade in 1978 when she made it in 2019.

Konta has been a trailblazer for British women’s tennis over the past five years, regularly going into the latter stages of Grand Slams.

But at the age of 31, the former world no.4 announced her retirement from tennis in December due to a knee injury, after that issue had left her ranked outside the top 100.

Harry Kane — 2017

Harry Kane’s inclusion in 2017 left some people scratching their heads


Action Images via Reuters)

There are not many England fans who haven’t chanted Harry Kane’s name with euphoria over the past five years.

But even the 28-year-old may be a little embarrassed that he was included on the 2017 list.

It was a good year for Kane individually as he topped the goalscoring charts for the second season in a row and helped England captain secure qualification for the World Cup.

But the striker is still yet to win any kind of team trophy with Tottenham or England, something that is almost a prerequisite – and that is why his inclusion on the candidates list caused a stir.

Nick Skelton — 2016

Nick Skelton won gold at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the age of 58

To win any Olympic individual competition is highly impressive.

But to do so at the age of 58, becoming the oldest champion in equestrian history is on another level.

Nick Skelton became the oldest British Olympic champion in 108 years when he triumphed in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Unfortunately, Andy Murray’s second Wimbledon title surpassed his achievement in the eyes of the public.

Lee Westwood — 2010

Lee Westwood finished the year as world number one in golf

Golfers usually make the cut on the list of nominations if they win a Major, with Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy making their way into the reckoning ons several occasions.

But Westwood’s place came without a tournament victory, only it was based on ranking points alone.

The Englishman finished the season as world number one and that was no easy feat, given it had belonged to Tiger Woods. But his lack of success in the main events ended his chances of taking the prize.

Rebecca Romero — 2008

Rebecca Romero won a cycling gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, four years at her rowing success in Athens

Rebecca Romero’s efforts at the Beijing Olympics were eye-catching not just because she won gold, but because she had only been on the cycling track for two years.

Romero had won silver in the women’s quad sculls at Athens 2004 before injury forced her to quit rowing, and so she moved into cycling, which proved to be a straightforward assignment.

Four years later, she took home the gold medal in China to become one of only a handful of athletes to win gold in different categories. Considering that, it is a pity she did not win the whole award.

Greg Rusedski — 1997

Greg Rusedski picked up the 1997 gong after his US Open final defeat

Andy Murray and Tim Henman are viewed as the two protagonists in the 21st century for men’s tennis. But Greg Rusedski has at least something to mention in the same conversation.

While Henman’s best effort at a Grand Slam was his semi-final at Wimbledon in 2001, Rusedski had made history four years earlier by reaching the US Open final.

He went on to lose to Australian tennis legend Pat Rafter in four sets, but claimed the SPOTY award after breaking new ground for men’s tennis.

Zara Phillips — 2006

Zara Phillips won the 2006 award ahead of Beth Tweddle and Darren Clarke

If it was surprising to see Princess Anne take her name on the list, then watching Zara Phillips follow up with her own award 35 years later was even more so.

In 2006, eventing champion Zara Phillips was named Sports Personality of the Year after claiming the World Championships in Aachen. She later won. a silver medal at the London 2012 Olympics.

To date, the Princess and Phillips remain the only mother-daughter combination in the winner’s circle.

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