Ronnie O’Sullivan: Overlooked Yet Again for SPOTY

BBC Overlook Ronnie O'Sullivan Again

Ronnie O'Sullivan pictured on his birthday, December 5. Credit: TheRealRonnieOSullivan/

Has the snooker world’s top player been unjustly ignored?

Ronnie O’Sullivan, snooker’s most illustrious figure, has yet again missed out on the BBC Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) award, despite a career filled with remarkable achievements.

Earlier this month, O’Sullivan, known as ‘the Rocket’, became the oldest winner of the UK Championship. Nevertheless, he was conspicuously absent from this year’s SPOTY nominee list.

This year’s nominations include Stuart Broad, Frankie Dettori, Mary Earps, Alfie Hewett, Katarina Johnson-Thompson, and Rory McIlroy. His exclusion has sparked outrage among many of his supporters.

Snubbed Despite Sporting Excellence

O’Sullivan’s frustration with SPOTY is well-documented. In 2016, he criticized the BBC’s limited coverage of snooker, stating, ‘You’re competing with Formula One, tennis, golf and the Olympics. They give it like 10 seconds on BBC Sports Personality – it’s a complete insult to the sport.’

In 2017, he expressed disinterest in the ceremony, ‘It’s not my scene and I really hope I never get nominated.’ True to his word, even in 2022, when he was a nominee, O’Sullivan attended the event via video link from Dubai.

Resilient In The Face Of Rejection

Despite his 2020 World Snooker Championship victory, O’Sullivan remained excluded from the SPOTY top three. He then remarked, ‘I won’t ever get that one. I don’t know why. I don’t think I’ll be in the hunt.

‘I’ve been around a long time and the British public have supported me really, really well. It would be nice [to win SPOTY] but obviously I understand that there are other sportspeople out there that maybe come ahead of me in the popularity stakes.’

He added: ‘I can’t think of any British sportsman that has dominated their sport, been as successful at their sport as I have. I’m trying to figure out why I don’t fit in. It’s OK, it is what it is. I don’t feel any less of a player or a sportsman because of it.’

The Awards

The BBC’s annual Sports Personality of the Year event is scheduled to take place at MediaCityUK in Salford, the headquarters of BBC Sport, on Tuesday, 19 December.

The program will be broadcast live on BBC One starting at 7:00 pm GMT. It will also be available for streaming on the BBC iPlayer, as well as through the BBC Sport website and mobile application.

Hosting duties for the evening will be shared by Gabby Logan, Alex Scott, Gary Lineker, and Clare Balding.

The highlight of the evening, the main award determined by public vote, is set to be announced shortly before 9:00 pm.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.