Whilst the global coronavirus pandemic played havoc for much of this year’s sporting events, with many being postponed or cancelled – including Wimbledon, which was called-off for the first time since World War II – 2020 has still offered some mammoth sporting occasions. Tyson Fury, who is the favourite in this Sports Personality of the Year odds, beat Deontay Wilder in style at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, whilst Liverpool eased to their first league title in 30 years.
As 2020’s ceremony approaches, let’s take a look back the five previous winners of the award. Read on to find out more!
2019 – Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes scooped the SPOTY Award last year, becoming the first cricketer to win the title since Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff was crowned the winner in 2005. The 29-year-old had a year to remember, with his heroics in the World Cup final, as England beat New Zealand at Lord’s, being his most notable achievement, as well as winning England’s player of the series in the 2019 Ashes with 441 runs and eight wickets.
Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton and Athletics’ Dina Asher-Smith came second and third, respectively.
2018 – Geraint Thomas
In 2018, Geraint Thomas became the fourth British cyclist since 2008 to win the SPOTY Award. Thomas’ Tour de France victory meant that he became the third Briton to win the competition, as well as the first ever Welsh-born victor. The now 34-year-old won the illustrious yellow jersey on the 11th stage of the prestigious race, extending his margin in the next, and keeping hold of the jersey for the remainder of the race.
Thomas’ tour victory forced Hamilton, who just won his fifth Drivers Championship, into second, whilst England and Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane had to settle for third.
2017 – Mo Farah
Mo Farah, who had been shortlisted for the award five times before, finally got his hands on the SPOTY trophy in 2017. The former Team GB Olympian won his tenth, and third successive World Championship 10,000m gold medal, as well as a silver medal in the 5,000m race. After retiring from the track with a 5,000m victory in the Diamond League, Farah received a knighthood from the Queen in November, before being crown the SPOTY in December.
Northern Irish World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea was in second, whilst Paralympian Jonnie Peacock was in third. Anthony Joshua’s fourth-place finish was the shock of the night, as the World Champion heavyweight went in as the bookies’ favourite.
2015 & ‘16 – Andy Murray
In 2015, Andy Murray won his second SPOTY Award, with his first coming after his success at Wimbledon in 2013. The three-time Grand Slam winner was considered a worthy winner by public after almost single-handily leading Great Britain’s tennis team to their first Davis Cup victory in 79 years.
Leeds Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield became the first Rugby League player to finish in the top three, whilst heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill was third.
In 2016, Murray was voted the Sports Personality of the Year winner for a record-breaking third time. After a great year, which saw Murray win an Olympic gold medal, his second Wimbledon title and regain his spot as tennis’ World Number 1, the then 29-year-old was awarded the SPOTY Award for a third time.
Triathlete Alistair Brownlee and show jumper Nick Skelton, who both also won gold at the 2016 Olympic games, came second and third, respectively.