It’s almost that time of the year again, when we take our foot off the gas a bit and take time to reflect on the last 12 months. For fans of sport, there is often a lot of highs and lows at the end of each calendar year. But 2021 has been one like never before as tournaments and events have been crammed into the schedule to make up for last year’s large string of postponements.
Of course, that means that there is a lot to celebrate at this year’s Sport’s Personality of the Year award at Salford’s MediaCity on December 19th. Having won the US Open at Flushing Meadows, it will come as no surprise that 19-year-old Emma Raducanu is the heavy odds-on favourite to win the top award in the Sports Personality of the Year betting, but she will face fierce competition from the likes of Tom Daley, Tyson Fury and Lewis Hamilton in the public vote.
So, as we await the official announcement of this year’s entries and anticipation begins to build for the ceremony, let’s take a look back at last year’s big winners. Read on to find out more!
SPOTY – Lewis Hamilton
Heavily backed to win the main award in the SPOTY tips, Lewis Hamilton was a worthy winner last year. Second to cyclist Geraint Thomas and England cricketer Ben Stokes for successive years in 2018 and 2019, the Mercedes Formula 1 driver equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world titles as he lifted the F1 crown for the fourth year in a row, while also overtaking the Ferrari legend’s total grand prix triumphs (91). Currently on the hunt for a record-breaking eighth victory, Hamilton could feature in the top three for the fourth year in a row.
Team of the Year – Liverpool
Having swept aside the rest of the English top flight to win their first Premier League trophy in 30 years, it was no surprise really to see Liverpool announced as the Team of the Year. Narrowly beaten to the title by Manchester City in 2018-19, the Anfield side bounced back to win the league the following season with 99 points — 18 points clear of Pep Guardiola’s defending champions. Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson was second to Hamilton for the main award as well.
Coach of the Year – Jürgen Klopp
It proved to be a rather good night for Liverpool, as their manager Jürgen Klopp took home the Coach of the Year award. The mastermind behind the Reds ending their three-decade wait for another top-flight title in dominant fashion and he helped send several record tumbling along the way, including the earliest title win and the most consecutive home wins (24).
World Sport Star of the Year – Khabib Nurmagomedov
Extending his unblemished MMA record to 29 successive victories with a second-round submission over Justin Gaethje, Khabib Nurmagomedov defended his UFC Lightweight Championship for the third time. Due to the death of his father just a couple of months prior to UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi, Khabib announced his retirement and subsequently vacated his belt straight after the bout. He is still widely regarded as the best MMA fighter of all time!
Marcus Rashford was presented the Expert Panel Special Award for his amazing campaign that raised awareness and millions for children to have free meal vouchers during the summer, enhancing support for poor kids and their families in England, while the late Captain Sir Tom Moore was honoured with the Helen Rollason Award for raising £32m for the NHS for doing 100 laps of his garden.
The remaining awards:
- Unsung Hero: Sgt Matt Ratana
- Young Unsung Hero: Tobias Weller
- Young Sports Personality of the Year: Andrea Spendolini-Siriex