Five prizes have been given out for boxing (with Henry Cooper winning two of them) but rugby union has only one winner (Jonny Wilkinson in 2003), golf has only two (Dai Rees in 1957 and Nick Faldo in 1989) and football has only five.Bobby Moore (1966), Paul Gascoigne (1990), Michael Owen (1998), David Beckham (2001) and Ryan Giggs (2009) have all been given the top prize, with three of them winning in the last 15 years.Bobby Charlton, George Best and Gordon Banks have had to settle for second, and, despite scoring the hat-trick of goals that won the World Cup for England in 1966, Geoff Hurst came in third behind speedway rider Barry Briggs.
Beckham had picked up the big award, two second-place prizes and a lifetime achievement award by the age of 35.
Poor Matthew Pinsent won his fourth consecutive Olympic gold aged 34 but never won the public vote.
Figure skating accounts for as many winners as cricket, despite the biggest shock in the show's history coming in 1975, when David Steele won for his role England's 1-0 Ashes defeat that summer.
The low number of female winners is also surprising.
Of the 57 recipients, only 13 have been women – and two of them are from the same (Royal) family.
Looking down the list, it's hard not to be in awe at the performances we have witnessed down the years, but whose achievements warranted greater recognition?What kinds of people get to compete in the Olympic games?Not many people thought Christopher Chataway would win the inaugural BBC Sports Personality of the Year award in 1954.Roger Bannister had broken the four-minute mile that May and was expected to pick up the prize, but Chataway's victory in the 5,000m race at a London v Moscow athletics competition on the old track at White City had been televised and, back in the days when the public had only one channel to watch, Chataway was able to capture more hearts and more of the 14,517 votes cast.Chataway and Bannister – who was at least recognised with the second-place prize in 1954 – started the trend of track and field athletes being honoured.Chataway was the first of 17 athletes to win, making track and field the most popular sport by far.