Button favourite to win BBC Sports Personality of the Year
Button favourite to win BBC Sports Personality of the Year
Posted By: James Allen  |  01 Dec 2009   |  11:29 am GMT  |  85 comments

A fantastic year for Jenson Button could be rounded out with a win in the most prestigious sporting award the UK has to offer.

The short list for the 56th BBC Sports Personality of the Year award were announced last night and he is the odds on favourite to win. Looking at his competition, he should ease through to take the title.

It is based on a vote by the British public and F1 drivers have always been well supported because F1 fans are passionate and actively get out to vote. Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill and Sir Jackie Stewart have all won it. Lewis Hamilton missed out last year because the public felt that the Olympic champions had a better shout and cyclist Sir Chris Hoy won it.

Picture 35
It’s something people reading this from other countries around the world might not understand, but in Britain as soon as any sportsman or woman does well the first thing anyone says is, “They’ve got to be in with a chance of winning sports personality of the year.” It is part of our culture and it would be a real positive for the sport if Button were to win it.

Button heads a 10 strong list including the footballer Ryan Giggs, England cricket captain Andrew Strauss and tennis star Andy Murray.

His closest competitor appears to be world heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis, then heavyweight boxing champion David Haye.

The only downer is that the awards ceremony has been set for Sunday December 13th, from 7pm to 9pm on BBC TV, which means that it will clash with the live final of the X Factor, a phenomenon which has been pulling in audiences of 16 million recently.

So the whole country will not be watching if and when Button scoops the award and that will be a shame for him and for the prestige of the award.

* Congratulations to Felipe Massa and his wife Rafaella; their son Felipe was born yesterday evening in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

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Mindful of the current betting stats and right prevailing, Jenson Button should win the Sports Personality of the Year award to add to his richly deserved F1 Drivers title, secured after a nail biting second half of the season. The voting public is a democracy and a sound gauge to public opinion which is clearly why Hamilton lost out last year; he’s only supported by a minority! Jenson Button – Sports Personality of the Year, voted by the majority!:)


LC 1971 is dead right, Valentino Rossi should have a Foreign Personality award and if you have any doubts about what F1 fans think of him, you should have read the comments of all the top sportspeople in the world about him when he clinched the Championship. I won’t willingly miss a MotoGP race, the elbow-to-elbow overtaking, the cornering, 235HP through a rubber patch the size of your palm – and it’s screened mostly on weekends between F1 rounds – you can have a seamless, double-clutch-like flow of motorsport all season! F1 fans can’t fail to appreciate it.

The JA F1 Personality award? Ross Brawn, no question, though the positive uproar when it looked as though Michael might come back makes you wonder if he doesn’t have a shout.

Let’s give Jenson all the support we can, it’s been years since we had a winner from F1.

Please keep the blog going next season, James, we’re all addicted to it now!


I think Jenson will surge ahead early on in the voting only to be caught up by the other 9 contenders, but will eventually come through in the end thanks to his performance at the start of the show.


SPOTY should be for contempory achievement – if we need an additional ‘lifetime achievement/contribution’ award during the proceedings to sweep up the likes of Giggs et al then why not? Every other awards show in the world seems to have one.

Ryan Giggs is the consummate example of a modern pro footballer and deserves all the plaudits but he’s been putting in the same level of performance each and every year of his career and has done nothing out of the ordinary this past year to justify the prize. If it goes to him there are about 50 other premiership players who could argue a case. By the definition of the award, it really is between Jenson and Jessica. But let’s be honest; i’m not going to lose any sleep over it either way.


Following Jenson’s rendition of ‘We Are The Champions’ over the car radio after Brazil, my money’s on him to win Sports Personality AND X Factor!


Felipe Massa has called his son Felipe Massa? That knock on the head really did do some damage then. Was that the best he could come up with?


Giggs should win it for his 20 years in top-flight football.

For football fans to vote against him solely due to his long association with Man United would be deeply petty. The guy has always been a credit to his sport.


It used to be that F1 drivers, when they won the WDC would be a shoe-in for the BBC-SPOTY. However, I’m not sure that that’s the case anymore, as other sports have more exposure now and our sportspersons in other fields (no pun intended re: Zara Phillips) are doing well e.g. Calzaghe and Hoy in the past two years.

I have a hunch that it may go to Giggs; in a world of football mega-transfers he has stayed loyal to one club throughout his career (a complete rarity!!). Unfortunately for him Wales have never qualified for a major competition in his time with his national side, so he’s been unable to play on the biggest stages… thus I feel there will be a lot of support for Mr Giggs.

I love the idea of JA-F1 POTY 😉 My vote is for Rubens… he showed there was life in the old dog AND he kept me amused with his blah blah blah and other “rants”, yet he kept his humility and humour (most of the time) – I still chuckle at him firing arrows in Monza 😉

Good points by lc1971 about Valentino and Schumi.


You know what? I completely agree about Rubens, he is clearly an underated driver who was never given the chances to be a champion at ferrari, and I think instead of stropping around like anyone else would, he takes it in a positive light, and he always cheers me up. I doubt he was actualy angry when he did his “Rant” he was probably trying to cheer himself up after a bad race! Reminds me of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBYd9UVBGTs

As for the BBC SPOTY, JB is the fave, though it could be close between him and Strauss. But to be Honest, Beth Tweddle probably deserves it more, I mean, have you seen some of the things she does? She’s a grandmother compared to some of the other stick insects that compete, and she still thrashes them. I’d like to see Button or Strauss bend their bodies like that, Running between wicket stumps and the occasional triathlon doesn’t cut it guys!

I hate X-Factor, it’s not even a show, it never was, and I pray, never will be. It is just a way of making Simon Cowell and co. money. It only appeals to useless, sheep like people who see their friends watching it and decide they also have to watch it to be “Cool”.

No-body will care about our sports men and Women’s year long plight and struggle, all they will care about is a couple of minuites singing by some people who think they are the best in the world just because some asshole billionares say they are. What a travesty!


read the BBC statement: “unassailable lead in the first seven races” …

Nelson Piquet Jr. could have won the championship in that car…

give it to some one worthy pls…

Mike from Medellin, Colombia

It has to be Jessica Ennis. Voting will have a lot to do with what’s fresh in the public’s mind I guess…so Button should have something of an advantage. What a performance by David Haye as well.


One of the funniest posts of the year.

I am loving the comments about the BBC putting the sports personality up against that immovable object in the last 20 years (?) the x factor 😉

I’d like to see jenson button win it. It would be thoroughly deserved in my view.

I can’t wait for the big matchup at mclaren next year.

Forget lewis and jenson. How about nicole and jessica.

There will be no lack of sponsorship coverage on tv next year 🙂

great blog James, thank you for reigniting my day to day interest in f1. Great insights.



he didnt win it when he was struggling in a poor car, now he’s wdc he’s in with a chance (despite being exactly the same), got no time for it. This is just the industry performing self felacio


I would vote Jimmy Bullard,The Hull City player 😉


My first post on this site after following the blog the entire season….. Congratulations to James for his intelligent insight and for being a very reliable source. Also congrats to the vast majority of the posters whi generally maintain the high standard of discussion established by James. Not often we see this on a blog/forum!

My thoughts on the BBC Sports Personality of the Year are: (1) Why didn’t Michael Schumacher win the foreign award? Although the British do not warm to his personality, I don’t think the “personality” characteristic is a criterion for theis award. (2) If personality IS a criterion for the foreign award, how the hell has Valentino Rossi not won this award?! Unlike many one make champion drivers/riders, Rossi did a “Schumacher” and moved to a perenially losing team (Yamaha) and beat the rest of the opposition from the off. He also won NINE championships and is considered by many to be the GOAT.

It would be interesting to see what F1 fans think about Rossi.

Otherwise I think Jenson’s human personality makes him a worthy contender for the UK person award. In respect of Lewis, last year he was competing against strong “pure” sportsmen/women (ie relying on their own power) and I think the fact that he was so blatantly manufactured worked against him. After this season I think Lewis has gone some way to removing the shiny, manufactured tag.


Surely it doesn’t have anything to do with “personality” as such. It’s just that it sounds better, and less dated, than “sportsperson”, which is what it used to be called.


Button did a good job this year but that award really belongs to everybody at Brawn that worked on giving him the car to dominate the first half of the season. After the first few races he was expected to win the championship. In contrast, David Haye was a complete surprise and pulled off a huge upset by beating someone much larger when most people gave him no chance. I think he deserves it just for that.


Very good!


BBC Sports Personality is a very political award, Andy Priaulx won the WTCC three times. One of only three FIA sanctioned world championships and never even recived a nomination. The reason being that WTCC is screened on Eurosport and not the Beeb!


You are right- look at what Sir Steve Redgrave had to do to win it!


Ryan Giggs will win it followed by Jenson.


United fan by any chance?


Yeah I am a United supporter.

Jenson has done plenty to earn his stake at the BBC Sports Personality Award, but the 2nd half of the season went abit off.

Ryan Giggs just keeps going and going at 36!

The betting yesterday was 20/1 for Ryan Giggs, now it’s about 7/1. Jenson still favourite.


x factor be-b**red! nothing will take the shine off watching a worthy champ pick up that trophy. The debate over whether he’s made a mistake moving to mclaren will rage on but his worthiness for the beebs top prize is beyond question. can’t wait.


Good luck Jenson, unfortunately I have a feeling he wont quite win…


Hi James,

I think the F1 drivers always have a big advantage as, due to the scheduling of the GP season, their triumphs are always fresh in the publics mind. Where as some of the other contenders ‘moment of glory’ occurred almost a year ago.

However is the award really highly regarded by the likes of Button & Hamilton? Or is it just seen as another ‘duty’ they have to perform?


True, but didn’t work last year!


Will this be in next years book?

I read a race every time I go for a poo 😉

So in about 15 races time the book will be finished… Quite strange when i’ve read it all before… Hmmm – I feel a bowel movement coming now!

PS – James – you signature is a lot like Jensons 🙂


Too much information!


Even though Button is favorite (and i think he will win it) my personal vote will go to Mark Cavendish. He is an absolute animal at the sprints and i think only the lack of publicity and cycling gets will prevent him from getting the award.

Button should win as i dont see it as a particularly strong line up. I think it will be Murray then Cavendish in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

As for the timing of the awards, that is just plain stupid from the beeb!

Good luck to Button. He should get it.


I’m sorry, but I still feel this is deeply unfair in regards to Lewis Hamilton. Chris Hoy was brilliant at the Olympics, and I mean no disrespect to him with this, but did he really deserve to beat Lewis Hamilton, practically a rookie in the top level of motorsport? I also think the BBC did a very poor job last year of being fair to all the contenders. On the night, here in Liverpool, the BBC dedicated under 5 minutes to him on the night. Even one of my friends, who doesn’t watch F1, was shocked. Chris Hoy and the Olympic squad, had well over an hour of the programme dedicated to them, Chris Hoy himself had 20 minutes.

So on that basis, SPotY doesn’t mean a thing to me atleast anymore. Again, I don’t mean to sound bitter about Hamilton not winning last year, but I really do believe he deserves it ten times more than Button.


What?!? Hoy appeared with all the cyclists, Hamilton got a one-on-one interview. Hoy was asked ONE question. He won despite the BBC’s efforts, not because…

What programme were you watching, Jayshum?

Incredible, really, that anyone can still take F1 seriously as a sport – especially after the recent season’s shenanigans.


Another Felipe baby?!

I think David Haye’s achievement was pretty special, but I guess some of his pre-fight comments will count against him.

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