SPOTY 2015: Three stars who might just make a late push for glory

Can Tyson Fury fight his way into Sports Personality of the Year contention?
Can Tyson Fury fight his way into Sports Personality of the Year contention?
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We're getting ever closer to knowing who will be shortlisted for the 2015 edition of Sports Personality of the Year, and while most of the contenders can do nothing more to enhance their claims Mike Norman believes this trio of stars can make a late push for glory...


"To highlight how unexpected Vardy's exploits are it's worth reminding folk that he was matched at [1000.0] in Betfair's Premier League Top Goalscorer market in August. He's now [4.3] favourite!"

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year website states;

An expert panel will be convened in November 2015 in London to decide the shortlist of 10 sportspeople for the main BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

Nowhere however does it give an exact date in November, though the general consensus via a thorough internet search is that this 'expert panel' will convene in late November rather than middle or early, which makes sense given the BBC SPotY site goes on to say;

The shortlist of 10 contenders will be announced during 'The One Show' on 30th November 2015 (BBC One, 19:00 GMT) and will also appear on the BBC Sports Personality of the Year website.

The reason the above is relevant is because one sport star has only just been added to the BBC SPotY 2015 Winner market, such is his dramatic rise to fame coming only in recent months.

I'm talking of course about Jamie Vardy, a footballer on the edge of greatness, a man who might just go down in the record books for many years to come.

This is a rags to riches story, one that Roy of the Rovers would even be proud of. Okay, Roy didn't win SPotY either - god knows why after his exploits for Melchester Rovers and England that year! - but Vardy's rise to fame from being a proper non league footballer with Stocksbridge Park Steels to a Premier League star and England international has been nothing short of extraordinary.

Vardy currently tops the Premier League goalscorer charts with 12 goals, a mere five ahead of the next highest goalscorer, six ahead of world class striker Sergio Aguero, and just the 10 ahead of a certain Wayne Rooney, who somehow can be backed at [23.0] to win SPotY!

To highlight how unexpected Vardy's exploits are it's worth reminding folk that he was matched at [1000.0] in Betfair's Premier League Top Goalscorer market in August. He's now [4.3] favourite!

But that's not the main story here, that belongs to the fact that Vardy might be about to break a Premier League goalscoring record that may never be bettered.

The 28-year-old is already making headline news. He's currently on international duty with England and his profile will rise even higher if he can get on the scoresheet against either Spain or France in the next few days.

Next weekend Vardy's Leicester City side travel to Newcastle United, find the back of the net there and he will equal Ruud van Nistelrooy's record of scoring in 10 consecutive Premier League games.

And score a week later in the Foxes' televised home game against Manchester United and Vardy will have the record all on his own, a quite remarkable feat should he achieve it.

Those pesky panel members may already have decided their final shortlist of 10 for SPotY by the time Vardy breaks the record on November 28, but surely anyone with a little sense at the BBC, who show the striker's exploits every week on Match of the Day, will have a little word in their ears and remind them of a certain footballer called Jamie Vardy.


*****


But for Novak Djokovic, Britain's Andy Murray would be a [1.5] shot to win this year's Sports Personality of the Year, an award he won back in 2013 of course.

If Djokovic weren't around Murray would be Australian Open champion, he'd have won the Miami Open, got to the final of the French Open, gone deeper in the Shanghai Masters, and won the Paris Masters.

Add in a semi-final at Wimbledon, and Great Britain's magnificent run to the final of the Davis Cup, and it could have been a great year for the 28-year-old.

Instead Murray is [6.0] second favourite to win SPotY, but he still has plenty of opportunities to influence a shortening of those odds yet.

Murray is third favourite to win next week's ATP World Tour Finals at the O2. Go deep there, maybe even win it if he can arrange a Djokovic kidnapping for a few days, and the Brit will be in the news once more.

But more importantly, if Murray can help Great Britain beat Belgium and lift the Davis Cup at the end of November, something we've never done for almost 80 years, then we might just have a new favourite to win Sports Personality of the Year.

Murray is [12.5] to win at the O2, but Team GB are strong favourites at [1.36] to win the Davis Cup. You can do it Muzza.


*****


When it comes to the Sports Personality of the Year award you're either in with a chance of winning it, or you aren't. There's rarely an in between. Those who have a chance will be priced accordingly, those who aren't in with a chance should be a billion to one for me.

A few examples being Greg Rutherford and AP McCoy. Both could well be on the final shortlist but neither have any chance of winning; Jessica Ennis-Hill - the current [1.84] favourite no less - is the star from the athletics field, while all McCoy did this year was retire.

But in Tyson Fury I'm torn.

He's currently available to back at [180.0] to win SPotY, but if he knocks Wladimir Klitschko's head off in Dusseldorf in a few weeks time - for which he can be backed at [4.8] to do so - then those odds will surely tumble.

A part of me says he has absolutely no chance of winning however (SPotY that is, not the fight), and that he should be one of those billion to one shots. And a part of me even says that the BBC would have Fury nowhere near their Dublin studios next month, he's a ticking time bomb.

But then there's the part of me that says if he beats Klitschko in style then there aren't many sport stars in this year's running with more personality than Fury, and he'll have achieved a great feat too by becoming world heavyweight champion.

And boxers do have a good record at SPotY. You just never know.


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