The latest SPOTY odds makes Marcus Rashford the clear favourite as he overtakes Lewis Hamilton at the top of the market, reports Max Liu...
Marcus Rashford is odds-on to win BBC Sports Personality of the Year after his campaign to extend free school meals gathered widespread support.
The Manchester United striker, who received an MBE for his services to vulnerable children during Covid-19, is 1.910/11 to win the award which is announced on Sunday 20 December.
It's a stunning turnaround in the betting for Rashford who was 4.1 two weeks ago when Lewis Hamilton was the favourite.
Now the F1 driver has drifted to 3.711/4 even though he achieved a record 92nd Grand Prix win in Portugal yesterday.
World heavy-weight boxing champion Tyson Fury, who was favourite for several months, is out to 9.28/1. He is scheduled to fight on 5 December, although the opponent is yet to be confirmed:
Big announcement The Gypsyking is back in Uk December 5 London opponent tbc? TYSON FURY (@Tyson_Fury) October 24, 2020
Can't wait to get back in the ring and get back to what I do best. 2020#Returnofthemac@WBCBoxing @frankwarren_tv @trboxing @btsportboxing @espn @MTKGlobal @wowhydrate @MarbellaUk @goldstar pic.twitter.com/MQ6KhZ0K0J
Relentless Rashford hoping for u-turn
Rashford has dominated the headlines in recent days after urging MPs to extend the policy of providing free meals to children in need during school holidays.
Last week Labour tabled a motion to extend the policy until Easter 2021 but that was defeated in parliament as Conservative MPs voted against it.
Rashford has refused to give up and his campaign has received support from businesses up and down the country that have pledged to provide meals.
Labour leader Keir Starmer has said his party will force another vote on the matter and Conservative MPs are reportedly willing to vote differently this time.
They have accused their leader, Boris Johnson, of misjudging the public mood and, based on the SPOTY odds, that looks right.
Off-field activities eclipse sporting achievements
Support for Rashford in the betting has surged since his free school meals campaigned regained prominence.
In an unusual year, athletes' off-the-field activities are proving to be worth as much as their sporting achievements in respect to SPOTY.
Rashford is playing well for United but not so well you'd expect him to be in contention for this prize. He smashed a superb winner against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday but couldn't break down Chelsea's defence at the weekend.
Snooker player Ronnie O'Sullivan won his sixth world title in August but, after money came in for him in the immediate aftermath, the Rocket is 10.09/1.
Man City forward and anti-racism campaigner Raheem Sterling was matched at 7.06/1 earlier this year but is now out of contention at 490.00489/1. He announced last week that he was setting up a foundation to help underprivileged children.
Timing appears to be everything in SPOTY and, while his aim is social welfare rather than personal awards, Rashford has perfectly timed his run to the top of the market.