As the BBC Sports Personality Of The Year is crowned live on BBC One, we pick out our alternative sporting heroes of the past 12 months
By Virgin TV Edit
We may have seen less sport than usual this year, but that’s not going to stop the 2020 BBC Sports Personality Of The Year from being crowned.
Presented by Gary Lineker, Gabby Logan, Clare Balding and Alex Scott, this annual celebration of sporting greatness is live on BBC One this weekend – and some of the biggest achievers from the last 12 months will be going head to head for the top award.
We’re talking about formula One champ Lewis Hamilton, England cricketer Stuart Broad, snooker star Ronnie O’Sullivan, boxer Tyson Fury, jockey Hollie Doyle and Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson. That’s a lot of talent right there.
Meanwhile, the one and only Marcus Rashford is due to be recognised after the Manchester United striker’s outstanding campaigning work this year.
But now to the real question: who are the alternative sporting stars of 2020? From the most surprising of underdogs to a plucky pensioner, here’s our round-up of the other legends who have made their mark this year…
It was a colourful start to 2020, as the eye-catching Peter Wright triumphed at Ally Pally to win the PDC World Darts Championship for the very first time. Wright isn’t what you’d call your average sports star. With his dyed mohawk, temporary head tattoos, and wardrobe that looks like he was caught in an explosion at a paint factory, the Scot is a one-off.
The Argentina rugby team
In case you missed it, November saw Argentina beat Rugby Championship rivals New Zealand for the first time. We’ll give you a second to read that sentence back. At the 30th attempt the Pumas stunned the mighty All Blacks 25-15 in Parramatta to send shockwaves around the rugby world. Sure, New Zealand walloped them 38-0 a couple of weeks later (you don’t beat the three-time world champs without repercussions), but no one can take this historic victory away from the Argentines. Bravo, boys!
Captain Sir Tom Moore
Doing 100 laps of your garden might not be an Olympic sport – yet – but one of the true heroes of 2020 gave us all a masterclass in determination and superhuman stamina earlier this year. Sir Tom’s exploits not only raised over £30 million (and counting), he also inspired millions of people across the UK with his can-do attitude.
In a stop-start Women’s Six Nations, one star shone brighter than the rest: England centre Emily Scarratt. Named player of the tournament, Scarratt finished as the competition’s top scorer. But she didn’t stop there. Proving she had nerves of steel in November, Scarratt scored a last-gasp penalty to give England a series win over France.
The best of the best. The cream of the crop. The pyjamas of the cat. Having helped Wolfsburg to a fourth consecutive double last season, the dominant Danish striker’s record move to Chelsea has seen her go from good to blummin’ brilliant. The UEFA Women’s Player of the Year is a deadly finisher who is also admired for her off-field advocacy of important social issues.
So what if MJ has been retired since 2003? The Last Dance was arguably the best sports documentary of the year, introducing a whole new generation to the basketball icon’s outrageous talent. It also gave viewers a candid insight into the mentality of a pure-bred winner whose crusade to become the very best was deeply personal.
When is BBC Sports Personality Of The Year on TV?
You can watch the ceremony live at 8pm on BBC One HD (CH 101) on Sunday 20 December. Also available after broadcast in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer.
TV channels: Channels, content and features available depend on your chosen package. Channel line-ups and content are subject to change at any time and to regional variations.
HD: HD TV set, V HD Box, TiVo box or Virgin TV V6 connected with HDMI cables required for HD channels. Number of inclusive HD channels depends on package.
Catch Up TV: Catch Up TV content available for up to 7 days or up to 30 days after broadcast, depending on content.