Inside Lines: Could Giggs or horsepower undo Button for Beeb prize?

According to the bookies Jenson Button is in pole position – a virtual shoo-in at 2-1 on – to become Sports Personality of the Year. Not so, hint some BBC insiders, who sense that for the second successive year a Formula One world champion won't get the chequered flag on 13 December. Put your money on a current outsider, they suggest: Ryan Giggs, who would be the first footballer to carry off the trophy since David Beckham in 2001. An escalating Facebook campaign, allied to an anticipated massive vote from Wales, and Manchester United's nationwide supporters, is pushing 35-year-old Giggsy into the frame, so watch for his 40-1 odds to be slashed. We also like the suggestion of reader Anthea Hawkins that Button should be undone by wonder horse Sea the Stars. Keep looking in that mirror, Jenson. There are a couple of thoroughbreds coming up fast on the rails.

Duke overdue at Palace

This is also the time when thoughts turn to which sports bods might be gonged in the New Year Honours. We are told this column helped Britain's oldest football coach, ex-Welsh international Ivor Powell, to receive a belated MBE in his nineties; so here's a nudge for another that seems well overdue. Duke McKenzie was one of our most distinguished world boxing champions (three titles at different weights) who these days devotes his energies to getting scores of unruly kids – some of them tagged and curfewed – back on the straight and narrow by teaching them boxing skills. The successes achieved by the Croydon-based McKenzie 46, are outstanding. He has never been honoured for his achievements in the ring or out but surely should be. Perhaps the Palace think that as a Duke he's royal enough already.

Brown mistimes his tackle

The tardiness of Gordon Brown in congratulating gymnast Beth Tweddle on her world championship victory contrasted sharply with the felicitations communicated to Jenson Button almost before he had finished spraying the Moët. Timing doesn't seem to be the strongest point in Government sports policy these days, as witnessed by the announcement of Sir Steve Redgrave as their new 'sports champion' during the Conservative party conference. This failed to bury the news of the 'defection' of Dame Kelly Holmes, hitherto the Government's prized sporting pin-up, to support the Tories' plan for a Schools Olympics, causing consternation at No 10.

A handbag? No, shorts

England's 2018 World Cup bidders are fighting back, and it's no longer handbags at 10 paces. Boxer shorts are the latest fashion accessory in the PR offensive. Carl Froch's trunks bore the 2018 logo in his world-title fight and there are plans for those worn by David Haye and Amir Khan to be similarly adorned in their upcoming world championship battles. All three are football fans – Froch (Nottingham Forest), Haye (Millwall) and Khan (Bolton). And as suggested here last week, much-needed stardust is set to be sprinkled on the bid, with Gary Lineker given a more prominent role.

insidelines@independent.co.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future