As we approach August… Yes, I said August. There is a lot of talk revolving around which sports person deserves to win the iconic award for 2020. In this blog, I’ll be covering my top 2 picks & what they’ve achieved in order to be in the running. Both have achieved outstanding things which I’m sure you’ll have seen across various social media platforms.

 

No.1

Tyson Fury AKA (The Gypsy King)

In the history of this award, it’s fair to say that the front runner tends to be a (by the book) individual, and what I mean by that is someone that’s respectful in the media, a role model to young kids and a true professional on and off the field.

Tyson Fury has become a household name in recent years for both good and bad reasons. After Fury famously beat the iron fist (Vladimir Klitschko) to win the heavyweight title on the 28th November 2015.

He went into a downward spiral. Fury said “When you’ve worked hard your entire life to achieve something and you achieve it, what’s next”. Fury was in search of his next buzz to keep him going. Unfortunately this resulted in endless cocaine & alcohol fueled nights out, to battling with depression & bipolar disorder. 

In Fury’s book Behind The Mask, he covers the many psychological battles he had to face throughout his darkest period. Including his depression-induced suicide attempt. In 2016, Fury reportedly drove his Ferrari at speeds of 190mph towards a bridge before hearing a voice in his head telling him to stop.

This was the turning point for Tyson, After months of psychiatric help. Tyson made the decision to get back into the ring. He showed an incredible weight loss of over 10 stone, got himself a new trainer, and swore to himself that he’d regain the heavyweight title. See below weight transformation.

Phenomenal, in a time where so much attention is on mental health and mens suicide rates in particular. It truly is remarkable that the world has been able to see one of the world’s most talented athletes turn around from an incredibly dark period, to not only live with a smile on his face, but to make a comeback to the big stage.

Since Tyson’s return, he’s won 5/6 fights, one being the knockout of one of boxing’s hottest prospects (Deontay Wilder) and one very controversial draw also against Wilder. 

It’s safe to say that Tyson’s turnaround is more than enough to warrant the sports personality award, He’s shown in plain sight that any individual whether you’re famous or not can suffer from mental health and depression, and can bounce back from it. If you want to see his story from start to finish then i strongly recommend his recent itv documentary!

 

No.2 

Marcus Rashford

There will likely be a few eye rolls when people hear that Marcus Rashford, the England and Manchester United winger has been nominated for this award. Mainly because he’s predominantly deemed as just another young overpaid footballer.

However, the reasons for Marcus’ nomination goes far beyond football.

Rashford most recently helped raise over £20 million during the coronavirus pandemic in order to help provide over three million meals to vulnerable people across the united kingdom.

Rashford also wrote an open letter to MP’s urging them to reverse its decision not to award free school meal vouchers in England. For which almost 1.3 million children are eligible to receive outside of term times.

Rashford openly talks about the importance of these free meals, saying him and his family were heavily reliant on them when growing up.

The government responded to the letter agreeing to reverse its decision which was widely appreciated by not only those who benefit from the meals, but also every one who recognises the role model like behaviour from a young adult.

Rashford has been widely praised for his charitable contributions, last month he won a special recognition award from the high sheriff of Manchester for “outstanding activity and contribution to the community”.

Rashford is a brilliant example of a modern day influencer, he’s used his media presence to make huge change for millions of people across the UK.

Aside from the 2 above, here’s a couple of other movements rashford has been at the forefront of;

 

  1. Helping the homelessIn October 2019, Rashford set up a Christmas campaign in order to support the biggest front line services for young people experiencing homelessness. He personally delivered 300 boxes to Centrepoint, and the homeless organisation took to Instagram to write of his generosity saying: “We believe that sport has the power to positively transform young lives.”
  2. Players together initiative – Back when the UK was in the beginning of lockdown, Rashford took to Instagram to show his support for the Players Together initiative supporting NHS staff during one of their toughest periods dealing with COVID-19.He was among a myriad of Premier League footballers who donated in total of £4million to help the coronavirus efforts.The cause supported NHS Charities Together (NHSCT), an umbrella organisation that supports 250 separate NHS charities across the UK.The campaign was spearheaded by Rashford, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane, Harry Maguire, Virgil van Dijk, Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne.

We can all agree that both Marcus Rashford and Tyson Fury are worthy of the award, they have both achieved incredible things and I’m sure there’s a lot more to come.

Based on the above, who is your money on! Drop a comment on the blog post on Embryo’s linked in page.