The Arsenal forward won the Golden Boot for leading scorer and was named player of the tournament during England’s Euro 2022 victory in the summer. Mead is joined on the shortlist by England cricket captain Ben Stokes, snooker star Ronnie O’Sullivan, gymnast Jessica Gadirova, curler Eve Muirhead and runner Jake Wightman.
Stokes won the award in 2019 and is in the running again after overseeing Test series wins over New Zealand, South Africa and Pakistan, while also playing a starring role in England’s T20 World Cup victory.
O’Sullivan could claim the gong for the first time at the age of 47 after equalling Stephen Hendry’s record by winning a seventh World Snooker Championship. Muirhead’s Olympic career had a golden ending with the skip leading her team to Great Britain’s only gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Beijing before announcing her retirement.
Eighteen-year-old Gadirova and Wightman both became world champions in 2022, Gadirova with her floor routine and Wightman in the 1,500 metres. The winner will be announced during the live show on BBC One on Wednesday.
It has already been announced that eight-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt will receive the Lifetime Achievement award while Argentina captain Lionel Messi is the World Sport Star of the Year following his World Cup-winning heroics in Qatar.
1. Beth Mead - 1/25
The Lionesses will figure prominently in the BBC One show and it would be a huge surprise if Mead does not walk away with the main prize. The Arsenal forward was named player of the tournament in England’s Euro 2022 success and also won the Golden Boot after scoring six goals, and adding five assists. Her international tally for the season of 20 goals was a new England record. Photo: Naomi Baker
2. Ben Stokes - 14/1
Stokes was voted Sports Personality of the Year in 2019 and is in the running again after a hugely successful year. He guided England to the T20 World Cup, holding his nerve under huge pressure, and has overseen three Test series victories since being appointed captain in April. On Tuesday, he helped England write history by becoming the first team to win 3-0 in Pakistan. Photo: Matthew Lewis
3. Ronnie O'Sullivan - 40/1
Snooker’s biggest star claimed his seventh World Championship title in 2022 with an 18-13 win over Judd Trump, equalling Stephen Hendry’s record and becoming the oldest winner of the crown at 46. O’Sullivan is ranked world number one and also won the Champion of Champions and Hong Kong Masters titles this year. He has never won the SPOTY title. Photo: PETER PARKS
4. Jake Wightman - 66/1
Wightman produced a stunning run at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon in July to become Britain’s first 1,500 metres champion for nearly 40 years, with his father Geoff commentating on the race in the stadium. The Scot completed his set of medals at the other major championships over the summer, taking European silver and Commonwealth bronze. Photo: ERIC LALMAND