‘Rea should be in the run­ning for BBC’s SPOTY this year’

Our man reck­ons Rea de­serves a top spot on BBC’s SPOTY

MCN - - CONTENTS - MCN COLUM­NIST JOHN McGUIN­NESS

Iheard they have changed Sports Per­son­al­ity a bit this year in a bid to stop what hap­pened with Jonathan Rea last year when he came sec­ond? That’s wrong, isn’t it? I usu­ally get an in­vite and go along, it’s a great night but some­times I’m sat in the crowd won­der­ing who some of the nom­i­nees are. I don’t mean it dis­re­spect­fully, it might be a swim­mer who has won mil­lions of medals but I don’t fol­low the sport so I don’t know who he is. He’s ob­vi­ously bril­liant at what he does and I sit there and re­spect it, so I don’t un­der­stand

‘HE’S A CHAMP. HE’S NOT COME THIRD, OR GOT A BRONZE MEDAL’

why peo­ple can’t do the same with Jonathan.

He’s a World Cham­pion. He’s not fin­ished third, or got a bronze medal. He’s the most suc­cess­ful guy at what he does, so why shouldn’t he be on sports per­son­al­ity?

I think it’s be­cause of the per­cep­tion that mo­tor­bike rac­ing is danger­ous. I just don’t get it, you can get hurt in a load of sports; horse rid­ing or down­hill skiing. What is the prob­lem with bikes?

He fin­ished sec­ond last year be­cause he got so many votes. I was sit­ting there with Hutchy, cages on our legs, full of painkillers, and we were cheer­ing for him louder than any­one in the room as he rode in on his Kawasaki. It was bril­liant en­ter­tain­ment and there’s no rea­son he shouldn’t be in the run­ning for it this year. Lewis Hamil­ton can’t even be ar­sed to turn up but Jonathan was there on stage pro­mot­ing our sport and giv­ing it ev­ery­thing he had. So what if there were a load of peo­ple in North­ern Ire­land vot­ing for him? Of course they would… even if ex-racer Greg Lav­illa did call him ‘un­charis­matic’.

Rea with third­place man Jonnnie Pea­cock

Some celebs don’t even turn up but our Jonathan made a proper en­trance

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