According to reports Mr. Tyson Fury, an interesting name for a pugilist, is now Heavyweight Champion of The World, which implies he is the best in that business.
As he is of UK standing this has meant nomination for the award of BBC Sports Personality Of The Year. If the past is any guide this might mean he would be a favourite to win. But there are demands that he should not be considered on the grounds that some of his personal opinions on sensitive matters give offense.
As someone whose expertise is limited by the fact that the last time I watched this award programme was before BBC2 was created in the mid 60's this is not an informed article; I skip awards programmes. But using the net I looked for the listings.
Down the years I would judge that there are a fair number of the winners and seconds and thirds in the past whose personal opinions on similar and related matters then could be a source of discomfort now. So why have they been allowed to retain their titles?
SPOTY in fact attempts to do something that does not make sense and that is to compare and somehow equate very varied activities with different demands across the class structures and status levels. Basically, it is a bit of nonsense which just happens to chalk up the right kind of audience ratings.
Back in the 60's the BBC did a lot of equestrian coverage, the football authorities fearing falling crowd figures and avoiding TV, and in 1971 Princess Anne, a lady of forthright views, won the SPOTY award. She had won the Gold Medal at the European Eventing Championship on Doublet. Dark doubts were uttered in pubs and working men's clubs across the land.
The runner up was George Best, a highly skilled footballer with a private life that sold a lot of newspapers, and third was Barry John, Wales Fly Half and a great rugby player. I saw them both play a time or two and wouldn't grumble.
Names that do not appear that I would have liked to have seen were Nobby Stiles of Manchester United and England, a gentleman footballer of the old fashioned kind. But for my money the one who deserved it was the England front row forward, Fran Cotton, pictured above.
Mud in your eye.