The over-hyped BBC annual award should be re-named ‘Sports Star of the Year’. If the 2015 winner is based on ‘personality’ most of this year’s 12-strong shortlist should be immediately disqualified so as not to break the Trade Descriptions Act.
As usual a selection panel dominated by liberal wishy-washies employed by the BBC have come up with a hopeless list of contenders.
Lady footballer Lucy Bronze is included, but male player Gareth Bale isn’t even though he carried, on his own pretty much, Wales to their greatest achievement in 60 years.
Bronze did okay for England in the Women’s World Cup, but they were a fine team rather than a collection of individual stars. Her inclusion smacks of political correctness by the BBC who have started reading out womens’ football scores in their sports bulletins even though no-one is really interested.
The tainted sports of athletics and cycling have provided five contenders between them, but in a year when England regained the Ashes there is not a single cricketer which is hard luck on Joe Root,
Root is one of those rare sportsmen who does combine great ability with a great personality. He has just broken the England record for the number of runs scored in a calendar year, mainly because he’s effortlessly classy across all three formats of the game.
If Charlotte Edwards had matched Root’s numbers in 2015, you can bet your life she would have been nominated.
I’m not going to belittle the achievements of any English world champion, but if you can vote for cyclist Lizzie Armistead and swimmer Adam Peaty why can’t you vote for outstanding speedway rider Tai Woffinden?
Woffinden has won the last two world championships in his sport. He has also raised a fortune for charity, but performing at the top in a frenetic, dangerous, competitive sport is not enough for a panel who once short-listed darts player Phil Taylor.
Anyway there is no logical reason why Lewis Hamilton won’t retain his title. Having less charm and personality than Jeremy Corbyn didn’t stop this arrogant car driver beating far more worthy contenders (well Rory McIlroy anyway) last year and he won his own two-horse race even more convincingly in 2015.
Of course the award should just be presented again to tennis star Andy Murray (right) as it was in 2013.
The Davis Cup is a hugely flawed event as it enables one good player to overcome the averageness of his team-mates. But Great Britain haven’t had a player capable of dominating the event for almost 80 years and Murray’s sheer brilliance, passion and commitment to his country captivated a nation as they trounced the might of Belgium in the final over the weekend.
That was more impressive than winning the Tour de France, beating a 39 year-old boxer to win a world title or playing rugby league to a high standard.