The red carpet has been rolled out and the golden envelope is open and ready to receive the name of Yorkshire’s Sports Hero of 2014 – yes, it is that time of year again.
Our search for the county’s sporting superstar of the last 12 months has begun and we want you to tell us who you regard as the best of the best.
Who in 2014 captured your imagination in the world of Yorkshire sport?
Who, for you, is a worthy recipient of the award, and deserving of a place on the honours’ board alongside last year’s winner Matt Fitzpatrick, 2012 champion Jessica Ennis-Hill, and the first recipient of our award, Kevin Sinfield.
Now in its fourth year, the award recognises the best of sporting talent currently active in the White Rose county.
All you have to do is tell us who you believe has been your Yorkshire sports hero of 2014.
Which of the 50 on the right, or any others that you think are deserving of the accolade, have had a year to remember?
One lucky reader of The Yorkshire Post will win two hospitality tickets to the second day of the Test match at Headingley between England and New Zealand on Saturday, May 30. All you need to do is cast your nomination and hope that your selected sports star wins our poll. If you vote for our eventual winner then your name will be entered into the prize draw.
The Yorkshire Post sports hero will be the one who receives the most nominations from you, our readers. Each nomination counts as a vote.
The criterion is Yorkshire-born sportsmen and women, or people who play for Yorkshire clubs or live and train in the county, who have done wonders this year.
The closing date is Monday, December 15, at noon and The Yorkshire Post Sports Hero of 2014 will be revealed following a week-long countdown of the top five on Saturday, December 20.
It is not an easy process picking your champion of 2014, so here are a few names and achievements to help make up your mind, starting with a collection of people who would win a team of the year award at a canter; the players and staff of Yorkshire County Cricket Club.
Identifying individuals from their glorious summer was an onerous task, but there are a handful who extended themselves that extra yard.
Adam Lyth and Alex Lees were an opening partnership who not only built the foundations for victory after victory, but also earned national acclaim with the former winning the Professional Cricketers’ Association player of the year and the latter, the young player of the year accolade.
Andrew Gale was Yorkshire’s captain marvel, while another two Yorkshire lads came in and contributed where possible to the championship effort; Joe Root and Gary Ballance.
Those two enjoyed a splendid year in the company of England’s cricketers, lightening the gloom surrounding the national side with some first-class batting performances.
The men behind Yorkshire’s title win this summer cannot be forgotten, and two in particular have led from the front.
Yorkshire’s return to the top has been nearly a decade in the making for director of professional cricket Martyn Moxon, who could not have done it without Jason Gillespie.
Staying in team sports, the outstanding nominees in the football world are mainly coaches. Steve Bruce led Hull City to a first FA Cup final, Nigel Clough took third division Sheffield United to the semi-final, and Steve Evans orchestrated a second straight promotion for Rotherham United.
Daryl Powell’s achievement at Castleford Tigers – transforming them from perennial strugglers into challengers on three fronts in rugby league – earned him the Super League’s coach of the year award.
On the playing side, do the achievements of Castleford’s Man of Steel Daryl Clark or the NRL Grand Final’s man of the match Sam Burgess deserve your vote?
The abundance of medals England won at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow produced a large swathe of Yorkshire heroes.
Two young men made major breakthroughs in Glasgow; Harrogate diver Jack Laugher and Leeds gymnast Nile Wilson.
Each won two Commonwealth titles, with Wilson adding a medal of each colour and Laugher a silver in what should be a springboard for even greater success for both teenagers.
Just as Yorkshire’s sporting stars shone at London 2012, so they did at Glasgow 2014.
To name all our champions and medal winners would fill an entire page, which is a great testament to the talent and dedication of the White Rose’s leading practitioners.
But here are just a few for your consideration: Nicola Adams, Alistair Brownlee, Jonny Brownlee, Sophie Taylor, Aimee Willmott and Nick Matthew.
Otley’s Lizzie Armitstead finally won a road race title at a major Games in Glasgow, and also won the season-long World Cup series in a dominant year for the cyclist.
The other major event of 2014 was the Winter Olympics. There were no medals for Yorkshire but we met the ‘Fridge Kids’ as Bradford’s Jamie Nicholls and the Sheffield duo of Katie Summerhayes and James Woods sent us skiing crazy.
Sheffield’s Kell Brook finally won the world title, jockey Daniel Tudhope and trainer David O’Meara flew the White Rose flag in the racing world with wins for G Force and Move In Time, and 2013 Sports Hero Fitzpatrick was leading amateur at the US Open.
I could go on and on. But it is now over to you. You have the task of picking your Sports Hero of 2014. Good luck.