Fourth year on the spin that footballers ignored for BBC SPOTY

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Despite being the world’s most popular sport, it appears the so-called beautiful game has come up short in the heroes department yet again, after the 10-nominee shortlist for the Sports Personality of the Year is revealed not to contain any footballers for a fourth consecutive year.

Ryan Giggs was the last footballer to be nominated for the BBC’s prestigious SPOTY award way back in 2009 and the Welshman was also the surprise winner as well.

Since then, kickers of the leather sphere have not even featured in the 10-person shortlist released in the build-up to the end-of-year event.

Although England’s fairly unspectacular showing in last year’s Euro final and dismal World Cup performance of 2010 probably has much to do with it, there are some who would argue that the like of Gareth Bale might have had a sniff this year?

After all, Bale not only scooped every individual accolade available after his virtuoso season for Spurs in 2012/13, but the Welsh wing wizard has just been sold for a world record amount.

Still, there has certainly been cause for other sportsmen and women to have their moment in the limelight, especially given the buzz around the London Olympics last summer which saw Sir Bradley Wiggins become the third cyclist in four years to win it.

Some of the faces that illuminated our TV screens last summer are back again in this shortlist, with America’s Cup hero and the most decorated sailor in Olympic history, Sir Ben Ainslie, who is a 100/1 shot with Ladbrokes.

Then there is Mo Farah at 14/1, who went on to repeat his amazing 5,000m and 10,000m Olympic double gold at the Athletics World Championships.

But, undoubtedly, this year belonged to the first men’s singles winner of the Wimbledon title for 77 years, Andy Murray.

Muzza is the 1/50 favourite and he certainly deserves it, though there have been shocks in the past.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.