BETH MEAD leads the six nominees for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

The Whitby-born footballer, who started her career with Sunderland Ladies, won the Golden Boot for leading scorer and was named player of the tournament during England’s Euro 2022 victory in the summer.

Mead, who is the bookmakers’ heavy favourite for the award, is joined on the shortlist by England cricket captain and Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes, snooker star Ronnie O’Sullivan, gymnast Jessica Gadirova, curler Eve Muirhead and runner Jake Wightman.

Here, we look at the six contenders for the award, which will be presented on Wednesday night:


The 18-year-old gymnast has had a stellar 2022, capped by becoming only the fifth British athlete to win an individual World title in artistic gymnastics. Gadirova achieved that with her floor routine in Liverpool in November having previously claimed team silver and all-around bronze.


The Lionesses will figure prominently in the BBC One show and it would be a huge surprise if Mead does not walk away with the main prize. The Arsenal forward was named player of the tournament in England’s Euro 2022 success and also won the Golden Boot after scoring six goals, and adding five assists. Her international tally for the season of 20 goals was a new England record.


A difficult Winter Olympics in Beijing for Britain had a golden ending as skip Muirhead led her curling rink to glory. The GB women only just made it through the round-robin stage before edging past Sweden and then romping to a final win over Japan. Muirhead completed her collection of major titles with gold at the World Mixed Doubles Championship.


Snooker’s biggest star claimed his seventh World Championship title in 2022 with an 18-13 win over Judd Trump, equalling Stephen Hendry’s record and becoming the oldest winner of the crown at 46. O’Sullivan is ranked World number one and also won the Champion of Champions and Hong Kong Masters titles this year.


Stokes won this award in 2019 and is in the running again after a hugely successful year. He guided England to the T20 World Cup, holding his nerve under huge pressure, and has overseen three Test series victories since being appointed captain in April.


Wightman produced a stunning run at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon in July to become Britain’s first 1,500m champion for nearly 40 years.The Scot completed his set of medals, taking European silver and Commonwealth bronze.