Mary Earps is the bookies' favourite to win BBC SPOTY award

BBC Sports Personality of The Year shortlist is CONFIRMED with Mary Earps tipped to be second Lionesses winner in a row – but there’s no place for a World Athletics champion

  • Mary Earps won the Golden Glove at the Women’s World Cup 
  • Stuart Broad, Rory McIlroy and Frankie Dettori are also among the nominations 
  • On a packed train, how DO you ask a celebrity to move from a seat you have reserved? It’s All Kicking Off 

Mary Earps is the frontrunner to be crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year next week after being named on the six-person shortlist.

The England goalkeeper, 30, is the odds-on bookies’ favourite to become the second straight Lioness to land the coveted award following Beth Mead’s triumph last year.

Earps, who starred as Sarina Wiegman’s side reached the Women’s World Cup final in August, faces competition from Ashes hero Stuart Broad and world heptathlon champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson.

Veteran jockey Frankie Dettori, Europe’s Ryder Cup talisman Rory McIlroy and wheelchair tennis No1 Alfie Hewett are also nominated, but there is no place for world 1500 metres gold medallist Josh Kerr.

The sportsperson who tops the public vote on December 19 will become the 70th winner of SPOTY.

Mary Earps is the favourite to win BBC Sports Personality of the Year

The England goalkeeper won the Golden Glove at the Women’s World Cup but couldn’t prevent the Lionesses from losing the final to Spain

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If it is Earps, it would be the third successive year a woman has been victorious following Emma Raducanu in 2021 and then Mead, after 15 years of male dominance before that.

Earps won the Golden Glove at the World Cup after keeping three clean sheets for England on their way to an historic first final. She also saved a penalty in the Lionesses’ heartbreaking 1-0 defeat to Spain in Sydney.

Of the other candidates, Broad was England’s top bowler in this summer’s amazing Ashes battle, taking the final wicket of the fifth Test against Australia to level the series 2-2 after announcing his retirement during that match.

Johnson-Thompson claimed her second world heptathlon title in Budapest in August, bouncing back from the injuries which blighted her career following her first global gold in 2019.

Dettori secured a host of big wins in his final year of racing in the UK at the age of 52, including victories in two Classics – the 2000 Guineas and the Oaks.

McIlroy was the top point scorer as Europe beat USA in the Ryder Cup in Rome, earning four points out of a possible five after only claiming one in a record defeat two years ago.

Stuart Broad is also in contention after bringing down the curtain on his Test cricket career with a superb Ashes series in the summer 

Rory McIlroy was nominated after leading Team Europe to win the Ryder Cup in Rome

Katarina Johnson-Thompson claimed her second world heptathlon title in Budapest in August


Odds courtesy of Sky Bet and accurate at the time of writing 

  • Mary Earps 1/10
  • Stuart Broad 17/2
  • Frankie Dettori 10/1
  • Katarina Johnson-Thompson 12/1
  • Rory McIlroy 40/1
  • Alfie Hewett 60/1 

Meanwhile, Hewett won five Grand Slam wheelchair tennis titles – two singles and three doubles – this year, which he ended as world No1. He could become the first para sports star to be named SPOTY in the show’s 70-year history.

The most notable omission on the six-person shortlist is middle-distance runner Kerr after he stunned Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen to win 1500m gold in Budapest.

His victory emulated the 2022 achievement of his British team-mate Jake Wightman, who was nominated for SPOTY last year.

Snooker great Ronnie O’Sullivan, who won a record-extending eighth UK Championship title earlier this month, had also been backed in recent days, as had England and Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham after a stunning start to his first season in Spain.

According to the BBC’s criteria for the award, the winner should be ‘the sportsperson whose sporting actions have most captured the UK public’s imagination during 2023’.

An industry panel were asked to select a shortlist that ‘reflects UK sporting achievement, represents the breadth and depth of UK sports and takes into account impact of the person’s sporting achievement beyond the sport in question’.


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