IN these fractious times even the painfully politically correct BBC cannot keep everybody happy. This year, they seem to have reached the conclusion that hosting their flagship Sports Personality of the Year awards in Aberdeen gives them enough cover to omit almost any mention of Scotland’s sporting personalities.

Okay so we had Judy Murray on the judging panel this year, and Sir Chris Hoy last year, but you won’t find a solitary Scot anywhere among the nominees. Yet there is space for Raheem Sterling, an England player who was enough of a personality that his manager recently needed to ban him for fighting with a team-mate.

If you can make the case for him in a team sport like football - some purists would take issue - then why not Andy Robertson, a son of Glasgow who became European champion without banjoing anyone. At the age of 15, when Sterling and his agents had already pocketed a lucrative deal following his move from QPR, Robertson was picking up the pieces of his career after his release from Celtic.


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Ben Stokes is the short price favourite, would be a worthy winner, even if he too has courted a few negative headlines along the way. He would have an even stronger claim if he had successfully stopped Australia winning back the Ashes on home soil.

Athletes Dina Asher-Smith and Katarina Johnson-Thompson take well deserved spots, as does usual staple Lewis Hamilton. Welsh rugby captain Alun Wyn-Jones gets a place on the nominees list for leading Wales to the Six Nations – presumably Gareth Thomas fought his corner vociferously in the judges room – even though it was arguably a more impressive performance for England to defeat Australia and New Zealand en route to the World Cup final. But then, even the BBC might have been red-faced about naming an ALL English list of nominations.

Even the moment of the year is a Scot-free zone, consisting of goals from Belgian millionaires Divock Origi and Vincent Kompany at crucial moments for Liverpool and Manchester City respectively, England winning the cricket World Cup and an Ashes test, an England goal at the women’s World Cup, and Suzann Petersen’s winning putt as Europe won the Solheim Cup.

Yet there is no sign of Catriona Matthew for masterminding that win, not to mention Josh Taylor for becoming unified world super lightweight boxing champion and only the third man in history to lift the Ali Trophy. Fourth in two of the most world class races ever assembled presumably wasn’t enough for Callum Hawkins and Laura Muir to get a nod. And considering his previous wins, presumably Judy was reluctant to press the claim too much of her No 2 son, who was back winning ATP titles in Antwerp this year with a metal hip.

Anyway, in light of this lack of recognition the Herald and Times Sport today starts to correct the balance with its power rankings of Scottish sport circa 2019, a kind of pop chart of Scotland’s sporting brands. Like the Sports Personality of the Year award, this is an inexact science, a matrix of various different factors. But if the BBC can get away with it so can we.


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1.Josh Taylor

The self-styled Pride of Prestonpans was still just a world champion wannabe at the bells, but all that changed with the two bouts in 12 months which give him the IBF, WBA and Ring Magazine super lightweight belts, not to mention the Ali Trophy. Having taken care of Ivan Baranchyk and Regis Prograis to become Scotland’s first unified boxing champ since his mentor Ken Buchanan, Jose Ramirez waits in 2020 as he bids to become the undisputed boss of the division. Further fame and fortune awaits too.

2. Andy Robertson

European champion, Scotland captain, his Liverpool side already seemingly on Premier League easy street, this has been quite a 12 months for Robbo. Football is a team game but this young man is one of this country’s biggest sporting advertisements. He will go even further into Scotland’s sporting stratosphere if he leads us to Euro 2020.

3. Laura Muir

Milnathort’s most famous vet has passed into Scotland’s sporting iconography, a pint sized powerhouse who battles it out with the best on the planet. Third is harsh, considering her double European Indoor gold back in March at her home venue was one for the ages and she was laid low with a calf problem just weeks prior to finishing fifth – in her second fastest 1500m time ever – at the World Champs in Doha. Unafraid to fight the good fight on doping issues, the BBC won’t be able to ignore her - or Callum Hawkins - with an Olympic gold in Tokyo.

4. Duncan Scott

Still only 22, this young man has long been making waves and is a superstar in waiting. Possessed of the moral rectitude to blank Sun Yang over his controversial history with the doping authorities, Scott came home from Gwanju with an individual bronze and a relay gold after a home leg which was the second fastest in history.

5. Andy Murray

A re-entry at five, this remarkable 32-year-old is still the daddy of them all. Even a career ending hip operation hasn’t been able to stop him. After victory in Antwerp, all eyes are on the Australian Open in January. He couldn’t, could he?

Just missed out: 6. Callum Hawkins, 7 John McGinn, 8. Maria Lyle, 9. Sinead McIntosh, 10. Stuart Hogg.