19 December 2012

#SPOTY 2012 Those We've Lost Part 2

As I mentioned yesterday there was the inevitable sad reminder of those we had lost from the world of sport throughout this year on the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year awards on Sunday.

Here is the concluding part of my look behind the names and pictures that appeared on the show just before the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement award to Seb Coe.

John Bond 17 Dec 1932 - 25 Sep 2012

As a footballer Bond spent most of his career (16 seasons) with West Ham United before a final three seasons with Torquay. But he was reknowned as a manager who did outstanding things with less fashionable teams. In his first year of management he took Bournemouth out of the 4th Division (now League 2) and the following season almost took them up again falling just short in third. He then moved to Norwich in 1973. He didn't manage to help them avoid the drop, but the next year he tok them back to the top flight and a League Cup final. in 1980 he moved to Man City. he took them to the 1981 FA Cup final famous for the Ricky Villa run and goal for the victorious Tottenham. Although after he left City in 1983 he never managed to bring the Midas touch to Burnley, Swansea, Birmingham or Shrewsbury. But in 1993 moved mostly into commentary for Radio 5.

Stephen Packer 2004 - 25 Nov 2012

Sadly the youngest person ever to feature in part of SPOTY. He was part of the academy at Liverpool FC playing for the U9 team. He was according to the coaches the best player in his age group and very speedy. But also an infectiously outgoing and bubbly character. He died as a result of cancer at the tender age of eight.

Jack Taylor 21 Apr 1930 - 27 Jul 2012

He served as a football referee for 33 years and from 1963-77 he was on the FIFA list. He refereed a final at Wembley though it was the FA Cup, as well as the 1971 European Cup final in 1971. But it was in 1974 in the World Cup final that one minute into the match between West Germany and Netherlands he awarded the first of two penalties in the match. However, it went down in history as the first penalty ever in a World Cup final.

Tom Maynard 25 Mar 1989 - 18 Jun 2012

The son of former Glamorgan and England cricketer Matthew Maynard, he made his debut for Glamorgan in 2007 before moving to Surrey in 2011. He was a right-handed batsman and occasional off-break bowler. The day before his death he was playing in T20 match against Kent. But in the small hours of the morning he was pulled over by police for driving erratically, he fled the scene but found his way unto the district line where he was electrocuted before being run over by a train at about 5 am.

Alexander Dale Oen 21 May 1985 -30 Apr 2012

In Beijing he became the first Norwegian to ever win a medal in the Olympic pool taking silver in the 100 breaststroke final. He entered Olympic year as World Champion having won the same event in Shanghai last year, this was also his nations first Gold in a global swimming event. However, while at a training camp with the Norwegian team in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA he was found unconscious in his room after suffering a heart attack from an undetected coronary heart disease. The winner of the Olympic 100m Breaststoke, Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa dedicated his win to his close friend and the 200m champion Daniel Gyurta offered a copy of his medal to the family to honour and mark his friendship.

Dave Sexton 6 Apr 1930 - 25 Nov 2012

After a mediocre playing career Sexton made his name in management. First up was a brief spell with Leyton Orient, but the move to Chelsea in 1967 was the start of some success. He led the team to the 1970 FA Cup and then their first European Trophy the Cup Winners Cup the following year. But that success was not replicated and in 1974 following the clubs relegation he was sacked. He moved to QPR taking Rangers to within a point of winning the Division 1 (now Premier League) title in 1975-6. It was the closest he came to managing a side to take on the mighty Liverpool of that era. He moved to Man United in 1977, seeing them in the most thrilling final 5 minutes of an FA Cup final in 1979 and another second in the League to Liverpool in 1979-80. After being sacked in 1981 he moved to Coventry City for two seasons. From 1977-90 and again from 1994-6 he was in charge of England's U21 team.

Jocky Wilson 22 Mar 1950 - 24 Mar 2012

Was a double World Darts Champions that Sid Waddell (see yesterday) commentated on. The Fifer beat the two big names of his era to win his titles first John Lowe for his first title in 1982 and then Eric Bristow seven years later. From 1979 and his debut World Championship through to 1991 he never failed to reach the quarter finals at least. In 1982 he was banned for a while, for throwning a punch at an official, though he was under a lot of pressure at the time due to his marriage to an Argentine woman with the Falklands War raging. In 1995 he announced his sudden retirement from the game, after being diagnosed with diabetes. He became a virtual recluse from that point. In 2009, after years as a heavy smoker he was diagnosed as having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Kenny Morgans 16 Mar 1939 - 18 Nov 2012

The Welsh footballer was one of the survivors of the Munich Air Crash as a mere 18 year old which claimed the lifes of many of his Manchester United team mates. He was found amongst the debris after the official search was called off by two journalists. Although he made a full recovery he never showed the form he once had as a youngster and left the club in 1961 having made just 23 first team appearances and not scored a goal. He then spent time with Swansea City and Newport County retiring from the game in 1967.

Páidi ó Sé 16 May 1955 - 15 Dec 2012

The Kerry Gaelic Football player is one of the most decorated GAA stars in history. He was on the winning side in the All-Ireland eight times as a player and twice more as manager of Kerry. In 1985 as captain he lifted The Sam Maguire with pride.  There were also eleven Munster titles and four national league titles in the career of the right half-back. He also had spells managing West Meath and Clare. He was found dead on the morning before SPOTY having gone to lie down with what he thought was indigestion but turned out to be a heart attack.

Phil Taylor 18 September 1917 - 1 Dec 2012

Taylor is the answer to the trivia question who was the Liverpool manager before Bill Shankly. Although a Britolian who played for his hometown Rovers he spent one season, he is associated with his adopted home Liverpool. The win- half moved there in 1936, before the war interupted his career he had also played a First Class Cricket match for Gloucestershire in 1938. He was part of the post war 1946-7 Championship winning team, and made 3 appearances for England later in that year's Home International Series. He was handed the captaincy in 1949. When he retired from playing in 1954 he joined the Anfield back room team. In 1956 he succeeded Don Welsh who had failed to gain promotion back to the top flight. One of the players he signed was Ronnie Moran who would spend the next 50 years with the club. But in 1959 having failed on a number of occasions to achieve that he resigned, leaving a boot room of Reuben Bennett, Joe Fagan and Bob Paisley that Shankly kept on,the rest as they say is history. At the time of his death he was the oldest surviving player from division 1, succeeding Ivor Powell (see below).

Emanuel Steward 7 Jul 1944 - 25 Oct 2012

As an amateur Manny Steward had a record of 94 wins ans 3 loses but because of tough financial circumstances never boxed as a professional. However, in 1971 he started coaching as a part time position, training many of the USA's top amateurs. He then translated that into moving those top amateurs into the professional ranks. In total he has trained 41 World Champion fighters including Lennox Lewis, Wladimir Klitschko, Tommy Hearns and Tony Tucker. His heavyweights have a world title fight record of 34-2-1. His death came a few weeks after having surgery for diverticulitis, but colon cancer was also listed as a contributing factor to his death.

Gordon West 24 Apr 1943 - 10 Jun 2012

The England and Everton goalkeeper had started out as a defender but went for a trial with Blackpool between the posts. He made his debut for them aged 17 but after just 33 appearances in 2 years he was trasferred for a then record for as goalkeeper of £27,000 to Everton. He spent the next 11 seasons there. Winning the league twice and the 1966 FA Cup refereed by Jack Taylor (see above). In the 1969-70 season he keep a club record 21 clean sheets helping Everton to the Division 1 title. Having made 3 appearances for England in the previous 2 seasons he was called up for the 1970 World Cup but turned it down to spend time with his family. He never appeared for England again. In 1973 after 399 appearances for the Toffees he retired, but three years later came out of retirement across the Mersey for Tranmere Rovers for whom he made 17 appearances in the next three seasons before retiring finally.

Selorm Kuadey 5 May 1987 - 3 Jan 2012

In what was a tough year for young former Sale Sharks (see David Tait in Part 1) the Ukrainian born winger had graduated with a First Class degree in human biology and infectious diseases from Salford University.  He had played for England U19 and U20. But two long term injuries in 2010 forced his retirement from the sport before he could establish himself as a  first team regular. His former club announced his death believed to be suicide at the start of the year.

Sid Watkins 6 Sep 1928 - 12 Sep 2012

Known in Formula 1 circles as Prof, in 1978 the Neurosurgeon was approached by the Brabham Team, owner, Bernie Ecclesto, who at the time was Chief Executive of the Formula One Constructors Association to become the official race Doctor. He was head of the medical team and first responder for the next 26 years. He was the first on the scene for both Giles Villneuve and Aryton Senna. After the death of the latter, a close personal friend, he set up the FIA Expert Advisory Safety Committee to look at ways to improve the safety of racers. The fact that since that horrific weekend in San Marino in 1994 which also claimed the life of Roland Ratzenberger there has not been a fatality in F1 is largely down to the Prof.

Mitchell Todd 15 March 1991 - 15 August 2012

The young Scottish lock had just completed a degree in sports therapy at Coventry University and was looking forward to the new season with Nottingham when he was found inside a car near Normanton-on-the-Wolds at 6am. The victim of a car accident he had appeared in last years U20 Six Nations and the Junior World Cup amassing 10 Scotland U20s.

Ivor Powell 5 July 1916 - 6 Nov 2012

The Welsh wing half's career started either side of the war at Queens Park Rangers. In 1948 he moved to first Division Aston Villa, before in 1951 he moved as player-manager to Port Vale. He appeared 8 times for Wales post war until 1950. But after spells managing Bradford City, Carlisle United and Bath City, before moving to the coaching staff of the University team. It is in this capacity that he entered the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest working coach. When he finally retired in May 2010 he was 93.

Joe Egan 26 Mar 1919 - 11 Nov 2012

As a hooker or lock in the period of contested scrums in Rugby League, Egan appeared in that role for Wigan from 1938-50 and then. Leigh where he moved initially as player coach. In 1948 he was the first Captain to receive the Challenge Cup from a reigning monarch. He also won two championships as a player with Wigan. After some years coaching Leigh he returned to Wigan and coached them to the Championship in 1959-60 and to three Challenge Cup wins in 1958, 59, 61.

Alan McDonald 12 Oct 1963 - 23 Jun 2012

The Northern Irish international centre back was part of Northern Ireland's last World Cup campaign in 1986. He spent the majority of his professional career with Queen's Park Rangers from his debut in 1981 yo 1997. Only a brief loan period in 1983 with Charlton Athletic and his final season at Swindon Town saw him playing elsewhere. He made 52 appearances for the Green and Whites. But only spent 3 years in management from 2007-2010 for Belfast side Glentoran. He did however run a trophy shop here in Bangor. He collapsed and died of a heart attack while out playing golf at Temple Golf Club near Lisburn.

Josh Gifford 3 Aug 1941 - 9 Feb 2012

The National Hunt trainer had been the champion jockey on four occasions 1962-3, 63-4, 66-7. 67-8 before announcing his surprise retirement from riding at the age of 28 after the 1970 Grand National. His wife was pregnant with their daughter Kristina (Cook) who was part of the silver medal winning eventing team at London 2012. His training career out of the stables of his former boss at Findon, West Sussex produced over 1,500 winners but one will always live in the public consciousness the winner of the 1981 Grand National Aldaniti ridden by Bob Champion. The horse had recovered from a career threatening injury and Champion from cancer. Glifford died of a heart at the stables since 2002 run by his son Nick.

Margaret Osborne duPont 4 Mar 1918 - 24 Oct 2012

The American tennis player won a total of 37 women's singles, doubles or mixed doubles Grand Slam titles between 1941 and 1960. Twenty five of them were at the US Championships, still the record. She never took part in Australia, because after marrying William duPont Jr in 1947 he refused to allow her to travel for that event. However, she won singles and women's doubles titles at all of the other three, but failed to win a mixed doubles title at The French. With Louise Bough she won 20 women's doubles titles a record shared with Pam Shriver and Martina Navratilova. After divorcing du Pont in 1964 she formed a life partnership with fellow player Margaret Varner Bloss with whom she lost in the 1958 Wimbledon final.

Campbell Gillies 27 Jun 1990 - 25 Jun 2012

The Scottish National Hunt jockey from East Lothian starting riding as an apprentice in Lucinda Russel's yard in Kinross.  In the 2009 Grand National meeting he had his first major win on 66-1 shot Clucabock in the John Smith's Handicap Hurdle. His biggest win came in this year's Cheltenham Festival when riding Brindisi Breeze he won the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle. This capped his most successful season with 38 wins from 300 starts. While on holiday in Corfu to celebrate his birthday with friends he went for a morning swim, went under the water and didn't resurface, there were signs of alcohol in his system though the cause of death is recorded as drowning.

Nevin Spence 26 Apr 1990 - 15 Sep 2012

The Ulster Rugby and farming community were equally shocked by the young Ulster Centre/Winger's death. Since making his debut for the Ulster team in 2010 he had made 42 appearances. He'd played Football for Northern Ireland Under 16s before focusing on Rugby Union. He's turned out 11 times for Ireland U20s including in last years Junior World Cup in which he scored 4 tries. Earlier this year he had been training with the full Ireland squad and turned out in an uncapped match against the Barbarians in May. He was returning from injury and had played in a B match on Friday. On the Saturday a family pet dog had strayed into the slurry tank on the family farm. Nevin, his father Noel and brother Graham all died from inhaling fumes

18 December 2012

#SPOTY 2012 Those We've Lost Part 1

Every year at these award ceremonies we seem to celebrate many who are lost. This years Sports Personality of the Year awards were no different. But so many of the names this year are people who were still playing at the top level this year.

Many will have known a lot of those names, but did any of the average viewers know about all of them. I know I didn't know about them all. But I've done a little research to provide a bit more detail about everyone that featured.

Sid Waddell 10 Aug 1940 - 11 Aug 2012

The poet and maestro who was the voice of darts for so many for so long. From 1968 with Yorkshire TV where he comentated on Indoor League  which included darts. From 1976 with the BBC until darts and Waddell moved in 1994 to Sky. Despite being diagnosed with bowel cancer last year he managed to return to the microphone for some commentary duties during the Premier League.

Tommy Godwin 5 Nov 1920 - 3 Nov 2012

A winner of two medals at the London Olympics: the ones in 1948. The first was in the individual time trial. The second was in an event that Team GB now expects to dominate the Team Pursuit. But GB didn't qualify well and only were in the race for bronze. But they improved their time by 17 seconds which was faster than the French winning time over the Italians in the final. He was an ambassador for London 2012 and carried the Olympic Torch through Solihull earlier this year. He died in the Marie Curie Home in Solihull having seen the Olympics return to London and the British cyclists dominating.

Gary Ablett 19 Nov 1965 - 1 Jan 2012

 A footballer who is remembered on both sides of Stanley Park, Liverpool. He started his career at Anfield with Liverpool. From 1986-92 he featured in two FA Cup winning teams, almost three doubles spoiled by Wimbledon and Mickey Thomas of Arsenal. But was part of the 1989-90 squad that won Liverpool's last league title. When Dalglish left Souness sold him to Everton, where in 1995 he became the first, and so far only, player to win the FA Cup with both the great Merseyside teams. He retired from the game in 2002 but started coaching Everton's under 17s, before moving to be reserve team manager at Liverpool in 2006. In 2009 he took over as manager of Stockport County, before a year later agreeing a one year contract to manage Ipswich Town. However, shortly after he collapsed on the training ground and was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the cancer of the blood which killed him.

Teófilo Stevenson 29 Mar 1952 - 11 Jun 2012

The Cuban Heavyweight boxer is one of only three boxers to win three Olympic gold medals from 1972-1980. He also won three World Amateur Titles in 1974 and 78 at Heavyweight and in 1986 at Super Heavyweight, he'd lost to the eventual silver medalist in the 1982 World Championships. He was on form to win a fourth Olympic medal (potnetially gold) at both the 1984 Games and 1988. But for the first the Soviet Union led boycott meant Cuba refused to attend and Cuba again boycotted in 1988. He died of a heart attack

Don Wilson 7 Aug 1937 - 21 Jul 2012

The left-armed spinner for Yorkshire (1957 - 74) and England had the misfortune to find himself up against Derek Underwood for the lefty spin spot so only made two tours with England and never made a home seried. In 1963-4 he went to India playing in all the matches and then 1970-71 he went to Australia and New Zealand where he played against the Kiwis. In 1970 he did play for England against the Rest of the World on home soil, but this series was later striped of test status. After retiring from playing he took up the role of chief coach of the MCC at Lords a role he held until 1991. He took 1,129 first class wickets at an average of 21.00

John Connelly 18 Jul 1938- 25 Oct 2012

The winger played from Burnley, Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers and Bury. He was also part of the 1966 World Cup winning squad. What you say? How can a winger be part of Ramsey's wingless wonders? Well he played in the first game the 0-0 draw against Uruguay. He was subsequently dropped, before Ramsey did away with wingers altogether. He was one of four players who did not make up the 11 who appeared in the final and under the rules at the time earned a medal. A subsequent campaign to honour all the squad with medals resulted in him finally receiving on from the Prime Minister Gordon Brown in 2009.

Angelo Dundee 30 Aug 1921 - 1 Feb 2012

The Philidelphia trainer of Italian ancestry trained and was cornerman to many world champion boxers. But he is most famously associated with Mohammed Ali, with whom he worked for most of his fights from his first professional bout in 1960 through to Ali's final bout in 1981. One notable exception was the 1971 fight against Jimmy Ellis where Dundee was in the other corner. It was Dundee that George Foreman accused of loosening the ropes before the Rumble in the Jungle in 1974. After Ali, Dundee worked with Sugar Ray Leonard (another Olympic champ) in most of his big fights.

Sarah Burke 3 Sep 1982 - 19 Jan 2012

The Canadian freestyle  skier specialised in the Superpipe discipline. He has lobbied hard to try and get it included in the Olympic programme for her home games in 2010, but it was due to appear in 2014. Having won the Winter X titles in four of the last five years she was widely tipped to secure that inaugural gold. She was the first woman to complete a 1080 in competion. On January 10 she was training at Park City, Utah and people thought he had landed a trick but hit her head on landing. Within minutes she went into cardiac arrest on the slopes and despite being rushed to hospital and operated on, she succumbed to her injuries 9 days later. This event will be her legacy in Sochi.

Nigel Doughty 10 Jun 1957 - 4 Feb 2012

The self made millionaire, from Newark, Notts. who ran a private equity firm with his business partner Richard Hanson. In 1999 he bought control of Nottingham Forest and was the club's chairman from that time. In October 2011, after just 10 games of the season former England coach Steve McLaren who Doughty had appointed in the summer tendered his resignation. The Chairman announced soon after that the whole enterprise that season has been a mistake and that he would be going at the end of the season as soon as a replacement could be found. He said it was the honourable thing to do. He was found dead in the gym at his house in February.

Lord John Oaksey 21 Mar 1929 - 5 Sep 2012

Like Sid Waddell was more often heard and not seen. He was the commentator initially on The ITV Seven  and later on Channel 4 Racing indeed it was here that when John McCrirrick handed over to him he was referred to as 'My Noble Lord' the titles he inherited in 1971, 4th Baron Trevethin and 2nd Baron Oaksey. Although I said he was more often heard he did have a distinguished amateur national hunt career as John Lawrence, he won the Hennessey Gold Cup at Cheltenham in 1958 and on Carrickbeg in the 1963 Grand National missed out by three quarters of a length from winning, finishing second to Ayala.

Terry Spinks 28 Feb 1938 - 26 Apr 2012

Was an Olympic gold medal winning boxer in Melbourne 1956 in the flyweight division. He would later turn professional winning 41 or 49 professional bouts but never rising above the level of Brtish Champion. In 1972 he was a coach to the South Korean Olympic team, and he saw the Black September terrorists heading to the Israeli quarters and raised the alarm. Mere days before he died he was interviewed for Colin Murray's Gold Run on Radio 5. He was to be the only living British Olympic gold medalist to have died from the start of the planning of the series until broadcast. But as Murray had met him, the premise for the show, his interview remained in.

Mitchell Cole 6 Oct 1985 - 1 Dec 2012

The midfielder started out with West Ham, he was released in 2004 for a career largely in lower reaches of football. He found himself at Grays Athletic and the season after his release from the Hammers helped them to the Southern Conference Title and the FA Trophy.  He then made his league debut in a season and half at Southend United, including helping them win League 1. Before a transfer to Stevenage Borough. He appeared in the first competitive final at the new Wembley in 2007 when Borough secured the FA Trophy, he would win it with them for his third experience of that in 2009. The 2009-10 season saw Stevenage Borough gain promotion to the Football League for the first time in their history. Shortly after this Cole was transferred to League 2 side Oxford United. However, in February 2011 Oxford announced that Cole was forced to retired with a serious heart condition, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy an irregular thickness of the heart. He carried playing some semi-professional football even this year.

David Tait 5 Jul 1987 - 12 Dec 2012

Mere days before the ceremony came the news of the death of the Sale-born former Sale Shark number 8. He was the son of a Scottish judge Campbell Tait and made his international debut in the 2009 Dubai Sevens. He only made 40 appearances for the North West team before injury forced him to retire from the game in 2010. He was making a new career for himself as a corporate financier in Hong Kong when he fell from a harbour view apartment block.
Brian Woolnough 1948 - 18 Sep 2012

A sports journalist and pundit first with The Sun where he worked for 27 years. Their rivals The Mirror put in an unsuccessful attempt to poach him away. Since 2001 he worked for the Daily Star. He moved into television in 1994 with Hold the Back Page. In 2007 he replaced Jimmy Hill as the presenter of Sky Sports Sunday Supplement. In Rotterdam in 1993 he stormed post-match into the referees room to confront the official about a decision that at the time looked like it may have cost England qualification to the world cup. He also in 2004 said after a match that Norwich City were 'gutless' and would 'stink the place out', he became a hate figure in Norwich, but it was smoothed out over lunch with the club's Chairman Delia Smith. But he was proved right when the Canaries were relegated. He died of bowel cancer.

Danny Fulbroook 1972 - 18 June 2012

Was another journalist at the Daily Star. He had started at the Hull Daily Mail before moving to the Birmingham Evening Mail, a brief first stint at the Star as Midlands football reporter before some time at The Sunday Mirror, rejoining the Star in 2000 as Chief Football writer.He faced his own 18 month battle with cancer before passing away at the age of 40. Woolnough above was the person to write his obituary for their paper.

Lee Richardson 25 Apr 1970 - 13 May 2012

A speedway rider who had represented Britain at under 21 and senior level. From 2000-06 he was taking part in the Grand Prix circuit before returning to the Elite British league. He was participating in an race in Wroclaw, Poland when he crashed head first into a safety barrier and later died as a result of the internal bleeding that was caused by the crash.

Mervyn Davies 9 Dec 1946 - 15 Mar 2012

Merv the Swerve as he was affectionately known only made 38 appearances for Wales from 1969-1976. But he did win 2 Grand Slams and three Triple Crowns in that successful period of Welsh Rugby Union. He also made 8 appearances for the Lions during their 1971 and 74 Tours. His career ended when he suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage while captaining Swansea against Pontypool in 1976. He was a smoker and in 2011 was diagnosed with the lung cancer that led to his death.

More to come tomorrow.

14 December 2012

Ey up lad, there be lads on bikes

Tour of Britain on Ilkley Moor
Yeah the 2014 Grand Depart of the Tour de France will come to Yorkshire. The first two days of racing will feature the county on 5 and 6 July before a stage down to London where the third days racing will end.

It is the fourth time that the Tour has visited Britain after trips in 1974 for a stage two loop around Plymouth, 1994 when after stage 3 went from Calais to the Eurotunnel. stage 4 took the Tour from Dover to Brighton and then stage 5 for a loop around Portsmouth, 2007 saw the Grand Depart with a time trail around Hyde Park in London, followed by a stage down to Canterbury which David Miller did his best to try and win.

This time with three days racing on English soil it is the longest sojourn unto British soil in one visit of the races history a reflection of how successful and popular cycling now is in the UK.

Yorkshire had beaten off bids from Florence and Edinburgh, but race officials have not ruled out a visit to Sir Chris Hoy's home city at come point in the near future so the Tour may well be back.

There may be a new verse to On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at  that needs adding, maybe.

Then t'lad in yella cycled past

26 November 2012

The BBC SPoTY Award nominees are....

This is a live blog, names and brief biogs will be posted as the names are announced on this evening's One Show

As announced on The One Show this year's Sport's Personalitiy of the Year 12 nominees are:


Bradley Wiggins  Cycling

Wiggo won not just the Tour de France and the Olympic Time Trial, but also Paris-Nice, the Tour de Romandie and Critérium du Dauphiné. These are five of the biggest wins in Cycling for anyone in any year, but he did all of that in the one year. He was briefly Britain's most decorated Olympian.

Ben Ainslie  Sailing

Winning his fourth consecutive gold medal in Olympic regattas to go with the silver he won in 1996 at the age of 19. To be at the top of his sport in such a tough type of solo sailing for such a long time is an amazing achievement and one that only two sailors have achieved in Olympic history

Ellie Simmonds Swimming

Paralympic swimmer Ellie was following up two golds in Beijing at the age of 13, she matched that in London plus won a silver and bronze as well to cement her place in the people's hearts once more. Bursting into tears at the end of her first win and ducking her head under the water to hide the tears (or give them an excuse for being there.

Jessica Ennis Athletics

 Jess missed out on gold in last year's World Championships in Daegu, and similarly only took silver in Indoor World Pentathlon at the start of the year. But in the Olympic Stadium she came out setting a British record in the 100m hurdles in the first event and a time that would have won gold in the event at Beijing. With other personal bests in the 200m (which would have been 7th in the 2012 Olympic women's final) and Javelin her points total is the new British and Commonwealth record.

Sir Chris Hoy Cycling

Bowing out of a long Olympic career with two more golds to become Britain's most decorated Olympian with 6 gold medals, to go with the one silver he won in 2000. He couldn't repeat the three from Beijing because of competition from his own team for the single places but he won all he could with two more. He's said that though he will not be in Rio in four year's time he is hoping to appear one last time in his eponymous named stadium in Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games.

Rory McIlroy Golf

The Northern Irish golfer became a multiple major winner adding the US PGA tournament to the US Open he won last year. He won 5 Tournaments in total including the last Tournament in Dubai at the weekend. But also lead the European and US tour money lists (the former meaning he took home the Race to Dubai trophy as well as winning the Tournament).

Nicola Adams Boxing

Set a bit of history that nobody can take away from her. When she won the flyweight division at the Olympic Games she became the first woman ever to take a boxing gold away from the Olympics. Later she was the first woman ever to be invited the British Boxing Assocation awards dinner, just as well as she won boxer of the year, she also topped The Independent's list of 101 most influencial LGBT people for 2012

David Weir  Athletics

 The wheelchair athlete came to London with four events on his mind. Three on the track 800m, 1500m and 5000m then the Marathon around different roads than the six times he had won the cities marathon. In the end he won all four, racing seven times in ten days over a distance of 35.3 miles.

Mo Farah Athletics

 Mo was part of the best day ever for British Athletes in any Olympic Stadium when along with Jessica Ennis and Greg Rutherford he turned the first Saturday into Super Saturday with three golds in the space of an hour winning the 10,000m. A week later he went on win a second gold medal in the shorter 5000m showing there was still something in his legs despite 4 tough races. 

Andy Murray Tennis

 Another of our Olympic Gold medalists, but as can be seen winning gold would not be enough this year, you had to make history. Therefore becoming the first British man to win a major singles title since 1938, Andy finally broke one duck that tennis fans have been yearning for in the US Open. He also took a silver in the mixed double at the Olympics with Laura Robson.

Sarah Storey Cycling

The most decorated female cyclist in our summer of sport came in the Paralympics and across multiple disciplines. Winning the individual pursuit and time trial at the Velodrome was not enough  for the former Paralympic swimmer, she then went to Brand's Hatch and added both the Road Race and Time Trial golds. The four took her tally to 11 gold, 8 silver and 3 bronze in a 20 year Paralympic career.


Katherine Grainger Rowing

Before London Katherine had been always the Bridesmaid and never the bride. In three previous Games she had just failed to become part of a crew to win Britain's first rowing medal by a woman. Even when she did take the gold with her partner Anna Watkins she had been beaten to the honour of being first. But it was probably the most emotional gold medal performance at Eton Dorney.

As expected in an Olympic year 11 of the twelve nominees are Olympic or Paralympic gold medalists, indeed we have 20 of our gold medalists. We have three Paralympians to the eight  Olympians. Unlike last year when no women were nominated this year there are five of the 12.

The top sports are athletics and cycling with three,  a tennis player, sailor, golfer, swimmer, boxer and rower make up the spread of sport. Only one comes from a team and that is in a rowing boat not football, cricket or rugby (althoguh one of Hoy's events was the team sprint and Wiggins while individual achieved his success as part of a team). Almost any of them could expect in most years to be a favourite to win because of what they have done.

As for who will win?

I still think that Bradley Wiggins' year is the most complete domination but I'm not 100% sure that most of the UK realises it. Andy Murray would have to have won Wimbledon to win this year. The boxing fan block vote only has one contender this year and that is a woman. Rory is the only non-Olympian and is a World number one (unlike Andy) but in the British Open he failed to deliver and may fall short despite it being Ryder Cup year. Sailing is not easy to follow, even though the BBC did a great job, so Ben might miss out again. Jessica and Mo were both part of that fabulous Saturday and Mo might have an edge with that extra.

However, I honestly think that one of the three Paralympians could well win this year, but will it be bare chested Weir, emotional Ellie or multi-discipline Sarah, now that is the question.