BRITISH HEROES JOIN THE LIST LATE ON
ANDY MURRAY and Tyson Fury have made late bids for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award after their stunning successes last weekend. The BBC judging panel met in mid-November but delayed naming their shortlist. They were aware that Murray could play a central role in leading Great Britain to an historic Davis Cup victory, while Fury had the opportunity to become the heavyweight champion of the world by conquering Wladimir Klitschko. The pair’s respective victories persuaded the judges to extend the list to 12 names instead of the customary 10, with Murray considered among the front-runners. Jessica Ennis-Hill remains the favourite after returning from a spell away from her sport to have a child to win world heptathlon gold in Beijing in August. Ennis-Hill also won admirers for the stance she adopted when Sheffield United — who named a stand after her between 2012-2015 — considered re-signing convicted rapist Ched Evans. But Murray’s commitment in helping deliver Britain’s first Davis Cup triumph in almost 80 years is sure to have earned him plenty of support, too, even if it remains an unusually strong shortlist this year. Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford have continued to dominate their events in athletics, while last year’s winner Lewis Hamilton is listed after successfully defending his Formula One world title — his third in all. Chris Froome is also nominated, having emerged from such adversity in France in the summer to secure a second Tour de France win. The winner will be decided by a public vote and announced at a live event in Belfast on Sunday, December 20.