David Beckham, OBE. Retired footballer and sports ambassador.
Chairman: Lee Clayton
Tim Brownsdon, head of business Lancaster Toyota Colchester
Les Snowdon, Daily Mail Sports Editor
Paul Newman, Daily Mail cricket correspondent
Laura Williamson, Daily Mail athletics correspondent
Alex Kay, deputy sports editor
Kate Silvers, Paralympics Coordinator for Channel Four and PR director
Mark Alford, MailOnline consultant sports editor
Hannah Eades, Lee Clayton’s PA
Ted Chadwick, sports news editor
The London Olympic Games in 2012 has led to a huge surge in interest in sport, with the number of people enrolling in sporting clubs increasing by 25% in the summer months after the games. And the sporting events of 2013 did not disappoint viewers: the Wimbledon final drew the highest television audience of the year, with a peak of 17.3 million viewers tuning in to watch Andy Murray become the first British man to win the singles title for 77 years. This list celebrates the sports personalities who have continued to be highly influential in the sporting world since London 2012.
Lee Clayton is head of sport of the Daily Mail and MailOnline, having joined the company in 2004. He started in newspapers aged 16, after following his father, Peter, into the print industry. He has since clocked up 27 years of experience working for a number of major national titles. Lee has covered football World Cups and European Championships and lists Manchester United’s 2-1 victory in the 1999 Champions League Final as the highlight of his time on the road.
Gareth Bale. Footballer.
The explosive Welshman Gareth Bale is the most expensive footballer in the world. As a student, his PE teacher prohibited him from using his left foot when playing football due to his superior skill. Bale’s professional career began when he debuted for Southampton at the age of 16, transferring to Tottenham Hotspur in 2007 and eventually amassing over 140 appearances for the North London team. During the 2012/2013 season, Bale was recognised as Footballer of the Year by both the Football Writers’ Association and the Professional Footballers’ Association, having scored 21 goals for Tottenham. In 2013 he moved to Real Madrid where he now lines up alongside Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
David Beckham, OBE. Retired footballer and sports ambassador.
Probably the biggest sporting icon in Britain, former England football captain David Beckham amassed 115 caps for his country – the most by an outfield player. Beckham’s love of football was evident from a young age and frequent trips were made to Old Trafford with his family who were all fanatical Manchester United fans. At the age of 17, he made his first appearance on the Manchester United first team. Having captained the England team for six years, won league titles in four countries and played a key role in bringing the Olympic Games to London, Beckham retired from his 20 year career last season, having finished his career playing for Paris St-Germain , where he donated his salary to charities.
The Lord Coe, CH, KBE. Chairman British Olympic Association.
Former track and field athlete Lord Coe has claimed Olympic glory for Britain in more ways than one. Having won four Olympic medals in the 1980s, Coe has gone on to change the Olympic and Paralympic landscape in Britain through his vision of taking on the challenge of London 2012. He delivered an event that has never been seen before, and transformed the Paralympic vision by aligning it with the Olympics. In doing so, Coe helped to identify the heroes that the British public now hold as household names. According to Coe, “My father guided and inspired my athletic career and Juan Antonio Samaranch created the opportunity and encouraged my involvement in the administrative side of sport.”
Also nominated for the Sports Administrators sector.
Tom Daley. Diver.
19-year-old Tom Daley is the face of British diving. At the tender age of 15, Daley became world champion, having already competed in numerous national and international competitions. Despite his diving duties Daley still achieved eight A*s and one A grade in his GCSEs, and he received an A* and two As in his A-Levels in the same year that he won a bronze medal in the 2012 Olympics. Capturing our attention and the hearts of teenagers everywhere, Daley enjoys a Twitter following of 2.4 million and hosts his own television show with 5.6 million viewers.
Jessica Ennis-Hill, CBE. Heptathlete.
Olympic poster girl Jessica Ennis-Hill is a driving force for athletics. Ennis-Hill is the current British national record holder for the heptathlon, the indoor pentathlon, the 100 meter hurdles and the high jump. Having won the Gold Medal in the Olympic heptathlon and as a double World Champion, her athletic prowess is firmly cemented in history. In the post-Olympic glow of London, Ennis-Hill has been an inspiration and a role model to many young girls looking to become the next generation of Olympic champions.
Mo Farah, CBE. Athlete.
Double Olympic gold medallist, Mo Farah, was sent to London aged eight amid the chaos of the Somali Civil War. Torn apart from his twin brother and other family members who stayed in Somalia, Farah
suffered from the language and cultural barrier that hit him when he arrived. Nurtured by his PE teacher who recognised his obvious athletic talent, Farah began competing in junior athletic events. As a teenager, Farah became the first British man to run 5,000m in under 13 minutes, and at the 2012 Olympic Games he became the first Briton to win a gold medal in the 10,000m. Farah is the only athlete to win the 5k/10k double on home soil.
Andy Murray, OBE. Tennis player.
Andy Murray attributes his sporting drive to losing at tennis to his older brother as a child. This fiercely competitive Scot has fought to boost the country’s standing on the world tennis circuit, capturing our craving for a British Wimbledon Champion. His emotional exposure after a harrowing Wimbledon final in 2012, swiftly followed by an Olympic gold medal, boosted the nation’s confidence. Winning the US Open in 2013, Murray became the first British male since 1936 to collect a Grand Slam and is the only man in history to win Olympic gold and the US Open in the same calendar year. Murray’s breakthrough triumph in 2013 as Wimbledon Champion earned him the esteemed title of Sports Personality of the Year 2013.
David Weir, CBE. Paralympic athlete.
Having won four gold medals in London 2012, the magnificent David Weir has become a trailblazer for Paralympic sport in the UK. He was born with a spinal cord transection that left him unable to use his legs, and while at school he became frustrated by the lack of sport on offer to wheelchair users. In 2013, he launched the Weir Archer Academy which is designed to increase participation in Paralympic sport. As a regular competitor in the London Marathon, Weir has won the race a record-equalling six times. In 2013, Weir was awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours list.
Sir Bradley Wiggins, CBE. Cyclist.
As a twelve-year-old, Bradley Wiggins told his art teacher that he would be an Olympic cycling champion. When he was compensated for a road accident as an early teen, Wiggins bought his first racing bike with the pay-out. In 2012, he became the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France and an Olympic time trial. As testament to his success, Wiggo was awarded British Sports Personality of the Year and the Velo d’Or, and was knighted in the 2013 New Year’s Honours list. Blessed with the best sideburns in sport, Sir Bradley has dramatically increased the profile of cycling with his track and Tour triumphs.
Eleanor Simmonds, OBE. Paralympic swimmer.
The inspirational Ellie Simmonds has swum her way to glory since the age of 13 when she won two gold medals at the Beijing Olympics, becoming Britain’s youngest ever individual gold medallist. Simmonds is also the youngest winner of the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year and became the youngest recipient of an MBE aged only 14. At London 2012, Simmonds won a medal in all four of the events that she competed in, smashing her own times and breaking two world records. This 19 year old is one of the most inspirational athletes of the day and has a fantastic future ahead of her.