Which footballers have won BBC Sports Personality of the Year award before?

BBC Sports Personality of the Year award
(Image credit: BBC)

Beth Mead is the latest footballer to be nominated for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, with the Arsenal and England forward hoping to join an exclusive club of five British footballers to earn the accolade since its inception in 1954. 

Mead is also vying to become the first-ever female footballer to take home the award on Wednesday night. Winning would cap off an exceptional 2022, where she won Euro 2022 with England women's team, was named Player of the Tournament and picked up the golden boot, scoring six goals and assisting a further five.

The 27-year-old also finished second in the Ballon d'Or Feminin behind Alexia Putellas, after becoming the all-time leading assist maker in the Women's Super League (WSL). 

Winning the BBC Sports Personality of the Year would mean Mead will become the sixth footballer to have won the award in its 68-year history, but who are the other five? FourFourTwo details them below.

Footballers who have won BBC Sports Personality of the Year award 

1966 - Bobby Moore 

Bobby Moore BBC Sports Personality of the Year

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England's captain, leader, legend for the 1966 World Cup win on home turf inevitably took home the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award that same year. 

Moore was the first Englishman to lift the Jules Rimet Trophy on merit, and, to this day, the only England World Cup winning captain. The central defender was named in the team of the tournament, too, alongside teammates Gordon Banks, George Cohen, Bobby Charlton and hat-trick hero Geoff Hurst.  

For West Ham, Moore helped the team reach the final of the League Cup, where the club lost to West Brom. However, he will be forever remembered for the man to lift England their first - and, to date, their only - World Cup. 

1990 - Paul Gascoigne

Paul Gascoigne 1990 BBC Sports Personality of the Year

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Paul Gascoigne captured English hearts with his tears in the 1990 World Cup semi-final against West Germany, when he picked up a yellow card that would have kept him out of the World Cup final, had England progressed. Ultimately they didn't, but Gazza endeared himself to the British public so much so that he was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Gascoigne said upon receiving the award: "I haven't won anything in the game yet, but the World Cup did help to put England on the map."

Playing in his first international tournament at the 1990 World Cup, Gazza started all six games. He assisted two crucial goals, in the group stages against Egypt and last 16 against Belgium, but the semi-final seemingly overwhelmed him once he picked up that yellow card.

1998 - Michael Owen

Michael Owen 1998 BBC Sports Personality of the Year

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While Michael Owen became the only Englishman to have ever won the Ballon d'Or in 2001, his BBC Sports Personality of the Year award came three years earlier, in a whirlwind 1998. 

Owen burst onto the scene in the 1997/98 season, winning the Premier League Golden Boot and being named the PFA Young Player of the Year, too. Despite still only being 18-years-old, Owen's fearless performances earned him a spot in England's World Cup 1998 squad. 

He truly announced his name on the world stage at that tournament, scoring a wonder goal against Argentina in the last 16 of the tournament to prove his potential in the game. 

2001 - David Beckham

David Beckham 2001 BBC Sports Personality of the Year

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Awarded primarily for sending England to World Cup 2002 with that free-kick against Greece at Old Trafford, Beckham beat 1998 winner Michael Owen to the award in 2001, despite the striker picking up the Ballon d'Or.

Indeed, Beckham's talismanic performance in that crucial qualifier against Greece almost single-handedly earned him the award - he scored the set-piece just two months before the public voted for their winner. Clearly, the goal still sat fresh in the mind of the nation. 

He also came second in the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2001, after winning his third consecutive Premier League title with Manchester United. Golden Balls certainly had a 2001 to remember, alright.

2009 - Ryan Giggs

BBC Sports Personality of the Year Ryan Giggs

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At 35-years-old, Ryan Giggs enjoyed a particularly special year in his illustrious career, being named the PFA Player of the Year for the 2008/09 season as he won his 11th Premier League title with Manchester United.

During the same season he made his 800th appearance for the club he had played for since his youth team days, and was eventually named the Manchester United Player of the Decade. 

The winger-turned-midfielder also helped the Red Devils reach consecutive Champions League finals, although they lost 2-0 to Barcelona. 

Regardless, Giggs' performances as he headed towards the twilight of his career earned him the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award for 2009. 

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