Ronnie O’Sullivan, Josh Kerr and the alternative Sports Personality of the Year Award 2023 shortlist

Josh Kerr became men’s 1500 metre champion

Sign up to our free sport newsletter for all the latest news on everything from cycling to boxing

Sign up to our free sport email for all the latest news

Thanks for signing up to the
Sport email

The Sports Personality of the Year shortlist has been revealed by the BBC with England star Mary Earps the favourite.

The Lionesses goalkeeper is in line to succeed last year’s winner and teammate Beth Mead, who beat out Ben Stokes and Eve Muirhead.

England fell agonisingly short of winning the Women’s World Cup, losing to Spain in the Sydney final last summer, though Earps played a key role throughout the tournament.

Cricket is likely to make the top three again through Stuart Broad after a thrilling Ashes series, with England battling back to secure a 2-2 draw. While Frankie Dettori, Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Alfie Hewett and Rory McIlroy are also on the shortlist.

As always, many disagreed with the final shortlist, leading to plenty of debate, and Independent Sport has put together an alternative list of six athletes for the prestigious award, which will be presented on 19 December.


Josh Kerr, men’s 1,500m world champion

Lightning did strike twice for Great Britain in Budapest, upsetting Jakob Ingebrigtsen once more, as Josh Kerr followed Jake Wightman’s effort in Eugene last year to storm down the home straight for a stunning World Championships gold in a breathtaking 3:29.38.

The Norwegian, one of the greatest male runners in the sport’s history, had broken world records in the 2,000m and two miles earlier in the season and would rebound impressively from this defeat to defend his 5,000m title, further adding to the Scot’s prestige.

Kerr’s SPOTY omission is perhaps the most curious given his event is currently among the deepest in athletics, yet the the 26-year-old will care little as he targets Ingebrigtsen’s indoor two-mile world record (7:54.10) at the Millrose Games on 11 February and then the Paris Olympics next summer.

Ronnie O’Sullivan has had yet another dominant year

Ronnie O’Sullivan, UK Championship winner and snooker world No 1

Some may interpret Ronnie O’Sullivan as the perfect sporting personality, yet the 48-year-old is still at the peak of his powers on the table, too, after a dominant victory at the UK Championship.

A final victory over Judd Trump, who had recently won three consecutive tournaments, sets up ‘The Rocket’ for a run at an eighth world title, which would see him surpass Stephen Hendry’s total of seven.

O’Sullivan’s last victory at the Crucible came in 2022, captured brilliantly by Amazon in the newly-released documentary The Edge of Everything, due to a quarter-final defeat this year to eventual champion Luca Brecel.

Nat Sciver-Brunt, England women all-rounder

Nat Sciver-Brunt is arguably the best women’s cricketer in the world, regardless of format and had a stellar 2023, starting with becoming the joint-most expensive player at the first Women’s Premier League. It has put her above many of the Lionesses in terms of earnings this year.

She played a crucial role in England’s Ashes comeback from 6-0 down to drawing the series 8-8 and beating Australia in ODI cricket, a format they had stood as world champions and utterly dominant for close to a decade.

She followed it up with the fastest-ever century in women’s ODI’s, hitting the milestone in just 66 balls against Sri Lanka.

Lucy Charles-Barclay became Ironman World Champion in October

Lucy Charles-Barclay, Ironman World Champion

She became an Ironman World Champion in October, winning the inaugural women’s-only title and setting a course record in Nice of eight hours 24 minutes and 31 seconds.

It had been a long time coming, she fractured a hip last year and broke a bone in her foot in May, but fought back, and claimed the title having been runner-up in Kone in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2022.

Cheered home by fellow triathlete husband Reece, she finished the marathon in an incredible 2 hours 57 minutes and 38 seconds, after the 2.4 mile swim and a 112 mile cycle.

Jude Bellingham, Real Madrid and England

While Euro 2024 might be where he can inspire England to go one step further than they managed three years previously, but he has already announced himself on the world stage.

Bellingham became England’s third-youngest player when he made his debut against the Republic of Ireland, and unlike many players, he has spurned the Premier League to take Europe and La Liga by storm and join up with Real Madrid.

He has established himself as a leader for both club and country, and he kicked off the season with an impressive 10 goals in 10 games and has only this year stopped being a teenager.

Kevin Sinfield ran seven ultra marathons in seven days to raise money for charity

Kevin Sinfield, fundraiser and ultramarathon runner

While not necessarily a sports star, his achievements this year have been astonishing. The 43-year-old former rugby league star ran seven ultra-marathons in seven cities in as many days, inspired by former team-mate Rob Burrow’s MND diagnosis.

His feats of endurance are worthy of the Sports Personality of the Year award, as he pushes his body to the limit in the pursuit of helping others with MND, smashing fundraising targets in the process.

In June, Sinfield ran the Leeds Marathon alongside Burrows’ wheelchair, memorably carrying him over the finish line in a touching gesture between the two men.

Source: Read Full Article