The annual gathering to celebrate the past twelvemonths of sporting excellence in the world of British sport (with a sprinklingof overseas’ talent thrown in) at the two and a half hour televised event thatis the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards' ceremony, takes place thisevening in Glasgow before an expected 12,000 crowd at the SSE Hydro.

‘SPOTY’ as it hascommonly become known serves as a showcase of the year’s best sporting action,with a focus on British success and failure, and interviews with the mainprotagonists.

To win the prestigious main award itself is something that many youngsportspeople aspire to achieve during their careers, as a marker that they canindeed be classed among the best this nation has ever produced across allsports. At the end of the night the top three as voted for by the public willbe announced in reverse order, before the winner is finally known and receivesthe iconic silver four-turret lens camera award, the award that tennis championAndy Murray deservedly took last year.

The bookmakers have installed the golfer RoryMcIlroy as favourite to prove victorious after a stellar year in golf, with twomajor titles and a key part in Europe’s Ryder Cup victory to his name, not tomention claiming the World Number one ranking. If successful, he would be thefirst golfer to be named as the winner since Sir Nick Faldo in 1989. Not faroff the likely pace is the Formula One title winner Lewis Hamilton, but intotal there are ten sporting 'giants'  shortlisted for the main award,spread across a typically diverse selection of sports, including able bodiedand Paralympians.

Besides McIlroy and Hamilton, there is the new Galactico atReal Madrid of Gareth Bale, stars from gymnastics and swimming at the Glasgow CommonwealthGames in Max Whitlock and Adam Peaty, besides the heroines from the WinterOlympics of Lizzy Yarnold (skeleton) and Paralympic skier Kelly Gallagher withher guide Charlotte Evans. To complete the shortlist there are three further sportinggreats in top boxer Carl Froch, double Olympic champion for dressage CharlotteDujardin and the indomitable distance athlete Jo Pavey,

It promises to be a night of glitz and celebration as these sporting starsget the opportunity to mix with each other in a truly unique atmosphere.

Expectplenty of coverage from an amazing twelve months that has witnessed a men’sfootball World Cup, Winter Olympics, Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup. Adistinctly Scottish flavour is expected to run throughout the show which includesperformances by the group Simple Minds, the violinist Nicola Benedetti and theBBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Besides the main award there will be seven additional awards presented duringthe night including ‘Team of the Year’, ‘Overseas Personality’ and the ‘LifetimeAchievement Award’ that is believed to be being presented to the proud Scot ,SirChris Hoy this year, in recognition of his six Olympic gold medals and anillustrious cycling career.

No less deserving will the winners of the ‘HelenRollason Award’, ‘Coach Award’, ‘Young Sports Personality of the Year’ and ‘UnsungHero Award’.

The historic event will be celebrating its 60th anniversary andthe past winners read like a who’s who of the top names in British sport overthe decades since its inauguration in 1954, when the legendary distance runnerSir Chris Chataway was the first winner.

Through the ‘60s such star names as Sir Stirling Moss, England’s WorldCup winning captain Bobby Moore and Olympic hurdles’ champion David Hemery wereamong the winners.

Into the ‘70s, Sir Henry Cooper claimed his second award in 1970 (afterwinning it in 1967), Princess Anne became the first Royal to feature on theRoll of Honour (a feat emulated by her daughter Zara in 2006), and the head tohead battles between athletes Steve Ovett and Lord Sebastian Coe saw them alsotrade ‘SPOTY’ awards at the end of the decade.

Into the 1980s and the stardust was no less glittering as Sir Ian Botham,Daley Thompson, Torvill and Dean (the only partnership to win the top award) andNigel Mansell were all bestowed with the honour.

England’s near miss in 1990 saw Paul Gascoigne’s tears ‘rewarded’ withthe statue, Damon Hill was twice a winner (1994 and 1996), and athleticsprovided three of the winners in the 1990s in Liz McColgan, Linford Christieand Jonathan Edwards.

Into the new century, the ‘00s brought success for Sir Steve Redgrave,David Beckham, Jonny Wilkinson, Andrew Flintoff and Hoy among others.

Given the shortlist this year, whoever adds their name to such anillustrious list of past winners will have deserved their inclusion among them.



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