Harty on the BBC sports personality of the year

This Sunday sees the annual BBC sports personality of the year award, with this year’s competition being probably the most open field in the history of the awards.

Obviously, the achievements of a number of our Olympians at this year’s summer games put them among the front runners, Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and Paralympian David Weir being the prime candidates.

There’s no doubting that we will never again see the sporting like of what we did back in July and August but I personally hope that the winner is not among the aforementioned trio. I would give, and hope the voting public do, the award to either one of the two following candidates.

2012 aside, Bradley Wiggins’ win in the Tour De France, the first Briton to ever achieve this, is probably already a stand-alone moment in British Sporting history.

At the time of his win the plaudits came thick and fast but, for me, the quote that stood out came from the man himself. In a competition that has found itself blackened by drug use, with perhaps its most famous winner of recent times being stripped of his title, Wiggins was asked if he’d ever thought aboutor been offered the use of drugs to enhance his performance.

His reply was simple, yet surely stirred the heart of every sports fan in this country. He said: “Had I taken drugs in order to win any event, let alone the Tour de France, how could I go back to my club and see all the youngsters riding round the track on their bikes, and truly look them in the eye”.

If not Wiggins, then I hope that enough voters put any whipped up anti-Scottish feeling aside and vote for Andy Murray.

Murray seems to be blighted by a throwaway, jokey comment about football years ago, but he is a true Brit in every sense of the word and his success on the court, and the winning of that first elusive Grand Slam would, like Wiggins, make him a worthy winner.

And, finally, much has been made of the over-zealous goal celebrations in last weekend’s Manchester derby and the subsequent trouble. Perhaps both players and fans should think back and take a leaf out of the book of Denis Law.

Back in April, 1974, he scored the goal for Manchester City that relegated Manchester United to the old 2nd Division, and given his allegiance to both clubs refused to celebrate. Law, Wiggins, Murray – all three sporting legends.