Former FC Halifax Town player among shortlist for BBC Sports Personality of the Year prize

Actions from the game FC Halifax Town v Colwyn Bay at the Shay
Pictured is Jamie Vardy goal

Actions from the game FC Halifax Town v Colwyn Bay at the Shay Pictured is Jamie Vardy goal

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Yorkshire’s sporting heroes dominate the short-list of contenders for this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

Sixteen sportsmen and women who thrilled, amazed and inspired us over an incredible summer of sport have been put forward by a panel consisting of media representatives and sports stars including former footballer Ryan Giggs and cyclist Victoria Pendleton.

Thirteen gold medallists from the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics are included on an extended shortlist, up from 12 nominations for both the 2012 and 2015 awards.

The three non-Olympians or Paralympians to be nominated are footballers Gareth Bale and fomrer FC Halifax Town player Jamie Vardy, and Masters golf champion Danny Willett.

Leicester City footballer Jamie Vardy began his career with Sheffield Wednesday and then Stocksbridge Park Steels, before moving to Halifax Town. He was voted the Premier League Player of the Season and FWA Footballer of the Year as outsiders Leicester won the Premier League title. Other nominees from the region are Leeds boxer Nicola Adams, triathlete Alistair Brownlee, who was born in Dewsbury but moved to Leeds, and parasport athlete Kedeena Cox, who is also from the city.

Among the notable omissions from the list are Tour de France winner Chris Froome and IBF world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.

Scotsman Andy Murray, the tennis world number one, is tipped to scoop the prize after winning Wimbledon for the second time, an Olympic Gold Medal and becoming the World’s best by beating Novak Djokovic in two sets.

As a result, he became the first player to win Grand Slam, ATP World Tour Finals, Olympic Games and Masters 1000 titles in the same calendar year.

Hot on his heels will be Yorkshire’s own Alistair Brownlee who impressed the panel after retaining his Olympic title.

But he also won the hearts of the entire nation after hitting the headlines for helping ailing brother Jonny over the finish line at a Triathlon World Series race in Mexico in September.

Cox, who suffered a stroke and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis two years ago, became the first British Paralympian to win golds in multiple sports at the same Games in over 30 years, also taking a bronze.

This summer, Adams became the first British boxer to successfully defend their Olympic title for 92 years and also became the world’s first female boxingchampion.

Willett, who now lives in Rotherham, won his first major championship at the 2016 Masters Tournament, becoming only the second Englishman to achieve the feat and the first European in 17 years to win at the Augusta National.

The full list put forward by the panel comprises: Nicola Adams (boxing); Gareth Bale (football); Alistair Brownlee (triathlon); Sophie Christiansen (equestrian); Kadeena Cox (athletics/cycling); Mo Farah (athletics); Jason Kenny (cycling); Laura Kenny (cycling); Andy Murray (tennis); Adam Peaty (swimming); Kate Richardson-Walsh (hockey); Nick Skelton (equestrian); Dame Sarah

Storey (cycling); Jamie Vardy (football); Max Whitlock (gymnastics); Danny Willett (golf).

The sports personality awards were created in 1954 and consisted of one award for the sportsperson judged by the public to have achieved the most that year and voting was by postcard.

Several new awards have been introduced, and currently eight awards are presented at the ceremony which takes place in Birmingham on December 18.

The trophy for the main award was created in the 1950s and cost about £1,000. It is a silver-plated four-turret lens camera, with the name of each winner engraved on individual shields attached to a plinth underneath.

The trophy originally had one plinth, but two more were added to create room for more shields.