Outside bets for Sports Personality of the Year 2021

19 Nov 2021 10:39 pm, by YorkshireSquare

As the days get shorter and the nights get longer, and winter greets us with its cold embrace, the prospect of this year’s Sports Personality of the Year award should warm the cockles of your heart. That’s right, after being held behind closed doors last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the awards ceremony will see a live studio audience return as we celebrate the best of British sport in 2021. There are some clear favourites for the accolade, with Emma Raducanu leading the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2021 winner odds at the time of writing. But what about some of the candidates who find themselves further down the list of contenders? There are rarely too many surprises when it comes to SPOTY, but with the nominations yet to be announced, anything could happen! Let’s take a look at a few sports stars who could yet spring a surprise.

Mark Cavendish
Having won the Sports Personality of the Year award back in 2011, it would be a remarkable achievement if Mark Cavendish could get his hands on the trophy once again a decade later. That 2011 victory was brought about by the cyclist’s sensational points victory in the Tour de France, and Cavendish returned to the famous French race in 2021 and secured the Green Jersey for a second time.

The 36-year-old Leeds United fan’s aggressive style of cycling has attracted controversy over the years, but you can’t deny that Cavendish is one of the best sprinters of his generation. While there may be other contenders better placed to win SPOTY for 2021, cyclists have always been favoured for the prize, and Cavendish could yet spring a shock.

Anthony Joshua
Perhaps a strange inclusion given that he recently lost his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles to Oleksandr Usyk, Anthony Joshua is still being given some attention on the betting odds ahead of the 2021 Sports Personality of the Year awards.

It’s amazing that Joshua is yet to win the award given his achievements in boxing over the years, and it’s clear that a tendency to favour stars from certain sports has worked against him. It’s unlikely that he will win the award for 2021 due to that defeat to Usyk, but if Joshua can win the rematch next year and set up a potential blockbuster showdown with Tyson Fury, his chances of landing the prize in 2022 could increase greatly.

Harry Kane
In many ways, it’s been a strange year for Harry Kane. His attempts to force a move from Tottenham Hotspur to Manchester City ultimately failed, but it’s his exploits with England in the summer that could see him in contention to win the Sports Personality of the Year award. The Three Lions produced some stunning results at the European Championships to make it all the way to the final at Wembley, where they lost to Italy in a penalty shootout.

As captain of the team, it’s natural that Kane should be under consideration for the award. His performances in the group stage of Euro 2020 left a bit to be desired, but he found his form in the knockout stages, notching crucial goals against Germany in the last 16, Ukraine in the quarter-finals, and Denmark in the semi-final. Kane has proved his worth to Gareth Southgate’s side over the years, and it wouldn’t be a major shock to see him at least nominated for SPOTY.