Does Jordan Henderson have an outside chance of winning SPOTY?

As the 2020 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award draws ever closer, the debate is hotting up as to who might scoop the prize this year. It's been a strange year for sport in many ways, mainly due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the sporting calendar. But there have still been plenty of sportspeople who have achieved great things in 2020, and there are a number of contenders listed in the Sports Personality of the Year odds.

Someone who is a little lower down in the list of favourites is Jordan Henderson, captain of last season's Premier League champions Liverpool. The Reds' success under German manager J├╝rgen Klopp over the last few seasons has been remarkable, and Henderson is a player who has been at the forefront of all the club's recent achievements. As captain, he is the player who will perhaps be most associated with Liverpool's Champions League and Premier League triumphs. After all, he is the man who had the honour of lifting the trophy on both occasions, and it's his delighted expression that will linger in the minds of so many football fans as the years go by.

Henderson's character is one of the main reasons he has a chance at winning the Sports Personality of the Year award. His tenacity and the passion he brings to Liverpool's midfield is one of the main reasons Liverpool have enjoyed such success over the years. He has been criticised on a regular basis for not being up to the task of captaining Liverpool, by those who suggest that he doesn't have the supreme quality required to play for the Anfield club. He has proven those doubters wrong, his star quality justified by winning the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year award.

The title of Sports Personality of the Year would not be ill-fitting for Henderson. His distinct vocal presence at the club means he is often the driving force for the team when the chips are down, and his footballing ability is valued immensely by Klopp. It must also be remembered that Henderson came so close to leaving Anfield after just one season at the club. When Brendan Rodgers arrived at Liverpool as manager in 2012, he sanctioned the departure of Henderson to Fulham in exchange for American attacking midfielder Clint Dempsey, but Henderson stood his ground and remained at the club to fight for his place. Since then, the former Sunderland man has more than proven his worth, becoming an iconic figure in Liverpool's recent history.

Off the pitch, Henderson was one of the loudest voices during the coronavirus pandemic, as Premier League players came up with ways to defer their wages in order to help club employees whose jobs were at risk as a result of the lockdown. He is a man who, despite his passionate presence on the pitch, is a kind and gentle person off it, eager to use his position of influence as a force for good.

He may not be one of the hot favourites to win the award, and it's perhaps a long shot to suggest he should win it for certain when there are so many deserving athletes out there, but Henderson has made a big impact in 2020. Indeed, his story is one that did not begin and end in 2020, but rather it began in the cold and rain in Sunderland's youth setup back in the late 1990s, and has reached a glorious and deserved crescendo after more than 20 years of toil and hard work.

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