BBC Sports Personality of the Year LIVE BLOG

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23.00 SPOTY Post-script. Robbo has just got in touch to remind me: “you do owe me a pint for the lack of paul scholes nomination”. That’s right, I inaccurately predicted that the veteran Man Utd midfielder would be up for a nomination following his heroic return to football this year. You win some, you lose some. Resty over and out.

22.31 Thanks to everyone who joined in tonight’s live blog – hope you enjoyed the show – have a great Christmas and see you in the new year!

22.30 “There’s a free bar paid for by the BBC,” jests a triumphant Wiggo, who completes a hattrick of personal sporting successes this year. So that’s where our license fee is going! Only joking, it’s been a fantastic night of entertainment from the Beeb, and a wonderful way to celebrate an unforgettable year of sport.

22.27 BRADLEY WIGGINS WINS! Robbo and I accurately predicted it back in Edinburgh in August. No need for this evening’s proceedings then, really… 😀

22.26 London 2012’s poster girl Jess Ennis comes 2nd with Blur’s The Universal accompanying her on stage – so far so good for me and Robbo!

22.25 1.5m phone votes says Sue Barker. 3rd place is Andy Murray. Robbo and I are spot on so far…

Lennox Lewis presenting the award to Andy at the other end of a video screen – hilarity!

22.20 “I’m so flattered and so honoured to be the recipient of this trophy,” says Lord Coe. An emotional speech from ‘Mr London 2012’ who pays tribute to everyone who made the Olympics the success they were.


22.12 It’s the lifetime achievement award now, and the man who won SPOTY for that freekick in 2002 hands it to Lord Coe – the Olympics continue to dominate the night but you can’t deny he deserves it! Coe and his team delivered a games which went without a hitch.

Security at the Crystal Palace athletics ground prevented me from getting his autograph at the Grand Prix back in July 2005, weeks after London won the bid!

22.10 Football journalists Brian Woolnough and Danny Fullbrook remembered in the montage of sporting heroes to have passed away in the last year. The media lounge at Wembley Stadium has been renamed “The Danny Fullbrook Lounge”.

22.07 Bolt the overseas sports personality. Next.

22.02 “This show used to get genuine winners like David Steele” – more wise words from Restall Snr, who is getting ever more frustrated with the Olympics overload. Steele, a cricketer who won the award in 1975, was nicknamed “the bank clerk who went to war“. After bravely battling the Australian bowling might of Thompson and Lillee, notching up four half-centuries in the series. His local butcher apparently gave him a pork chop for every run he scored for the England test team. A true legend.

22.00 The clock strikes ten and Dave Brailsford is named as Britain’s top coach. After winning the last 8 games in a row, I’m told Leyton Orient’s Russell Slade was a close second for the trophy.

21.58 “Sounds like some kind of high-brow Opera” says my Dad to “Strauss and Navratilova” coming on stage to present the coach of the year gong. I’m inclined to agree – bizarre combo from the Beeb.

21.57 “‎’Team GB & Paralympics GB’: not a team. So stupid and yet so predictable. Yawn.” – wise words from a former-Somerville classicist. The Golfers woz robbed.

21.55 Roy Hodgson gets to sit next to Zara Phillips and one away from Tom Daley. Can we swap places Roy?

21.48 Time for Team of the Year. Any other year it would have been the golfers for their Ryder Cup exploits (see below) but it’s Team GB, #OurGreatestTeam, and yet another chance for Auntie Beeb to show us a montage of their coverage of London 2012. That wasn’t cynicism – our medal winning Olympic and Paralympic athletes crafted an unforgettable summer for these Isles. And who better than Oxford’s very own Sir Roger Bannister, fresh from meeting Tom Ough in June, to present the award.

Let’s also not forget Wigan Athletic in this category – the Beeb clearly haven’t with a cheeky pan over to Roberto Martinez. Classic!

Top tweet: @chrisdoliver Mum votes for Andy Murray once, I vote for #Wiggo twice#SPOTY2012 #ComeOnWiggo

@restyrestall: sorry, I’m on your Mum’s side #ComeOnANDY

21.44 Jim and Sue Horton presented with the Unsung Heroes award – “with a great team around you it’s amazing what you will achieve”

21.40 Was on a train to my to my Aunt’s 60th birthday party when the sporting world stood still on March 17 – it’s incredible that Fabrice Muamba is up on stage presenting an award nine months on tonight with the medical team which saved his life.

21.38 @darrenhunt has tweeted: “Football has lowered the tone on #SPOTY2012” – perhaps, but anyone beating Barcelona last season was like another sprinter snatching Bolt’s 100m crown!

 21.34 Would love Roberto Di Matteo to get coach of the year, masterminded a first Champions League victory for Chelsea and an FA Cup to boot, before being sacked a few weeks back. But the smart money’s on Team Sky and Team GB cycling’s Dave Brailsford.

20.30 Get calling – the lines are all open and the numbers are backed by that epic Underworld track from the opening ceremony. I’ve just got goosebumps.

21.27 The “Weirwolf” is welcomed with a light-show which wouldn’t look out of place in a Dr Who episode, but it’s an incredibly well deserved entrance. His four golds were the undisputed highlight in the most successful Paralympics Team GB has ever had and as Clare Balding rightly said – put the games on a parallel with the Olympics.

21.25 I also can’t recall any mention of Roy Hodgson and England’s Euro 2012 campaign, but equally amidst

21.20 Team GB finished fourth on the track & field medals table with 4 golds – their best since 1964 – but head coach Charles van Commenee stepped down in September after failing to meet his target of 8 medals. Promising for Rio 2016 with such a taste for success.

21.13 Looking back on Super Saturday now, and a day which will forever go down in British history. Jess Ennis, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford all struck gold in an electric Olympic Stadium. The handful who chose to watch the evening’s proceedings at The Bullfinch in Riverhead helped the pub come alive during my shift.

21.11 Sergio Aguero tweets a picture of ExCel tonight:

21.09 “Why is Didier Drogba there?” says my bemused Dad, before I remind him that even if the footy isn’t top billing tonight, the Ivory Coast striker’s goal did win Chelsea their first Champions League crown back in May.

21.04 Sadly not a Rocky-esque montage for Team GB’s first female Olympic boxing champion Nicola Adams but they’re more than making up for it by introducing the combat sport stars one by one onto the stage. Adams recently topped the IoS Pink List which recognises influential LGBT figures – ahead of tonight’s presenter Clare Balding.

20.59 @Tukka says: “If you don’t “get golf” after this montage, there’s no hope for you.#spoty2012” and he’s not far wrong – I wasn’t much of a golf fan until Europe completed “mission impossible” with an astonishing comeback at the Ryder Cup. Ian Poulter led the way as Europe snatched 8 and a half points on the final day in Medinah. Jose Maria Olazabal’s heroic golfers have to be the team of the year – I’ll eat my hat if it’s Man City.

20.56 Aside from a brief glimpse of Andrew Strauss, the England cricket team has also been forgotten tonight. While it’s been a mixed year for the test team following back-to-back Ashes glories with defeats to Pakistan and South Africa, Alastair Cook’s team are on the brink of an historic series victory in India. The new England captain recorded his 23rd test century last week.

20.53 The briefest of mentions to Peter Wilson who shot to fame in the clay pigeon event at London 2012 – one of the “forgotten champions” of the Olympics.

20.47 My mate Robbo has correctly predicted the last few SPOTY winners, including Cavendish last year. During the Edinburgh Fringe we discussed over a whisky the candidates for this year – scrawled on the back of a beer mat I have Wiggins, Ennis, Murray as the 1-2-3.

20.43 Yep, that’s a four second delay between Sue Barker and the Sir Chris Hoy videolink. Bringing back memories of the Mike Bassett videolink – footy fans will know what I’m talking about.

Top tweet: @PeterPRandRadio Is it me, or is #SPOTY2012 treating non-Olympic or non-Paralympic sports such as rugby, football and horse racing like ad breaks?#SPOTY

@restyrestall it’s nice to see some other sports take centre stage this year

20.39 @GuyFoxLondon asks the question on everyone’s lips this evening: What happens if there is a tie for Sports Personality of the Year? Does it get decided by degree of difficulty? #SPOTY2012

Top tweet: @andrewcembling What an incredibly moving story. Martine Wright a deserved winner of the Helen Rollason award 2012. The embodiment of courage#SPOTY2012

20.30 Martine Wright wins the Helen Rollason award for “outstanding achievement in the face of adversity” – what an incredible story. Wright competed at the Paralympics in the sitting volleyball having lost both of her legs in the 7/7 bombings, the day after London won the games. She dedicates her award to PC Elizabeth Kenworthy who saved her life, and the 52 who were tragically killed in the attacks.

20.27 Comedian Lee Nelson attempts to bring British rowing back down to earth with a bump (punbelievable tekkers there…) by tweeting: “We only won the rowing coz we’ve got more posh people than any other country #spoty2012“. But at least he loves the Rad Cam…

20.23 Rowing is now in the limelight, and it’s a year Katherine Grainger (a modern day Robert the Bruce according to Clare Balding) will never forget. It’s also been a year of highs and lows for Oxford’s rowers – Trinity’s Constantine Louloudis picked up a bronze stroking the Men’s 8 but earlier in the year Trenton Oldfield hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons – if the BBC did a “Villain of the Year” surely he’d be a contender?

20.19 Live via videolink, Murray and Sue Barker joke about his Wimbledon speech which left the nation in more tears than when Peter Colt won it in the 2003 film version…

20.18 I’m in agreement with @ma77anderson – this has been the toughest one to call for years. #comeoneandy anyone?

Top tweet: @ma77anderson Can’t decide which #spoty2012 short lister to vote for – just let them all have one each eh? #fb

20.16 “I’m a Murray fan” says my brother Will, but the Restall family favourite doesn’t appear to be the nation’s favourite. Wiggo still the bookies’ best bet for the crown tonight.

20.13 Balding banters with the Brownlee brothers – couldn’t resist a bit of alliteration. World Champion Jonathan memorably battled back to take the bronze in the Olympic triathlon after a time penalty as older brother Alistair took gold.

20.09 The ExCel is doing the Poznan as Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany celebrate Man City’s Premier League title on stage with Gary Lineker. Don’t get me wrong – City’s title win on the last day of the 2011/12 season was incredible, but no way near as inspirational as the Paralympic triumphs we’ve just relived.

20.06 One of London 2012’s poster boys Tom Daley is up on stage to present the Young Sports Personality of the Year award – an award the diver has won three times. Daley hands this year’s trophy to Josef Craig, a 15-year-old swimmer who took gold in the 400m freestyle at the Paralympics.

20.00 Clare Balding notes that Ellie Simmonds is just 18 but has already lived an incredibly full sporting life. Simmonds secured a second double-gold haul two swimming at the Paralympics and has already won the Young Sports Personality of the Year gong after winning two gold medals aged just 13 in Beijing.

19.58 Right. Back from the kitchen armed with a chicken pie – this is going to be a long night.

Top tweet: @tara_mulholland Right, that’s it, I’m gonna say it – I fancy Bradley Wiggins rotten, and none of you can stop me #SPOTY2012

19.50 Bizarre mention of the Cardiff v Liverpool League Cup final – I suppose they have to get football in somewhere. If “Sporting Events in 2012” were a category on BBC’s quiz show Pointless, I’d guarantee you now that Alexander Armstrong would be listing that game as a “pointless” answer. Even I’d forgotten it and I live and breathe football…

19.46 First British winner of the Tour de France and Olympic time trial king Bradley Wiggins very gracious onstage with Sue Barker praising the team behind his triumphs – you could be mistaken for thinking it was the Brit Awards as Wiggo looks more Paul Weller than Olympian!

19.43 Welcome! As you can imagine, the night is going to be one massive homage to London’s hugely-successful Olympic games. We’ve already had last year’s winner Mark Cavendish return his award – unfortunately the cyclist was unsuccessful in his attempt to win gold in the men’s cycling road race.

Join OxStu Sport as we look back on a phenomenal year of sport with the BBC’s annual awards ceremony. This year’s gong is broadcast live from London’s ExCel centre which hosted Boxing, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Fencing, Judo, Wrestling and Weight Lifting at London 2012. Nicola Adams and Anthony Joshua were among the Team GB gold medal winners at the venue.