Skip to main content

Who is the sporting superstar of 2019?

Who is the sporting superstar of 2019?

We look back on the history of BBC Sports Personality Of The Year for clues as to who might triumph this year

An epic 12 months of action is ready to be capped in style on a star-studded night live on BBC One

BBC Sports Personality Of The Year 2019, Sunday 15 December, 7pm, BBC One HD (CH 101). Also available for 30 days in Catch Up > Channels > BBC iPlayer

As sporting years go, 2019 has been a slam-dunking success. Lewis Hamilton activated Legend Mode in Formula One, England’s cricketers bagged the World Cup in the most dramatic fashion on home soil, Manchester City won the best Premier League title race in years, plus Team GB rocked it in Doha at the World Athletics Championships.


But now there’s one title left to decide. Who will the public crown BBC Sports Personality Of The Year 2019? Could Hamilton be in pole position to clinch a second award after winning his sixth F1 championship? Cricketer Ben Stokes is also among the frontrunners after guiding England to World Cup glory, while Dina Asher-Smith’s heroics at the World Athletics Championships give the charismatic sprinter a strong footing in the race.


BBC Sports Personality Of The Year 2019 nominees

  • Lewis Hamilton (Formula One)
  • Dina Asher-Smith (Athletics)
  • Ben Stokes (Cricket)
  • Raheem Sterling (Football)
  • Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Athletics)
  • Alun Wyn Jones (Rugby Union)

Held in Aberdeen, and featuring performances on the night from singers Lewis Capaldi and Emeli Sandé, this year’s spectacular celebration of sport is not to be missed. It could also be one of the closest contests we’ve seen for many a year.


The history books, however, can give us a few clues as to who might triumph on Sunday night. From the sport that’s bred the most victors to the most popular first names of those who have grabbed the glory down the years, here are the top trends among BBC Sports Personality Of The Year winners…


Athletics wins the race

British track star Mo Farah

Football may be the UK’s favourite sport, but footballers aren’t the most popular individual stars. Only five have ever won BBC Sports Personality Of The Year, the last being Ryan Giggs in 2009. No, when it comes to this prestigious award, performers from the world of athletics beat the competition hands down. Eighteen track and field heroes have nabbed the award in total, Mo Farah being the most recent in 2017.


Men tend to dominate

Of the 64 winners of BBC Sports Personality Of The Year, just 13 have been female. Swimmer Anita Lonsbrough was the first in 1962, while sprinter Dorothy Hyman (1963) and athletics all-rounder Mary Rand (1964) made it a hat-trick of victories. The last woman to win the top award was Zara Phillips following her individual gold and team silver medals at the 2006 World Equestrian Games.


England leads the way

England rugby star Jonny Wilkinson

Wondering which nation has dominated BBC Sports Personality Of The Year since its inception in 1954? Look no further than England. Englishmen and women have triumphed a whopping 48 times, while their nearest competitor is Scotland with seven victories. Three of those Scottish wins have come courtesy of Andy Murray, who has been crowned the winner more than any other individual.


Make sure you’ve won something

Unsurprisingly, very few sports stars have won the top award without having achieved glory in their chosen field throughout the year. The exceptions tend to be England footballers, who have a rich history of not winning much for their country. Paul Gascoigne won in 1990 after his tears at the World Cup, Michael Owen triumphed in 1998 following his wondergoal against Argentina at that year’s tournament and David Beckham took home the gong in 2001 thanks to his free kick against Greece that helped the Three Lions reach the 2002 World Cup. Bobby Moore got his hands on the award in 1966, for obvious reasons.


Two names prevail

Steve Redgrave at BBC Sports Personality Of The Year 2000

Johns and Steves are your go-to guys for BBC Sports Personality Of The Year victories. These names (and variations of them) have won eight times in total, with Steve Ovett (1978), Steve Davis (1988), Jonathan Edwards (1995), Steven Redgrave (2000) and Jonny Wilkinson (2003) among the recipients.


You might also like

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, VHD 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.