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

News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Sport
Alexis Sanchez missed a penalty before scoring the opening goal with a header at the back post
footballLive! Sanchez makes up for penalty miss to put Arsenal ahead
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all