STEVE OVETT [Athletics]
In 1978 Steve Ovett clinched his first major athletics title by winning the European 1500m in Prague. Bringing the crowd to their feet, Ovett rushed past team-mate David Moorcroft and Ireland's Eamonn Coghlan to win in the last 100m.
SEBASTIAN COE [Athletics]
Coe became the only man in athletics history to hold three different world records at the same time. In the space of just 41 days he broke 800m, 1500m and the mile records and was involved in a thrilling rivalry with Steve Ovett.
ROBIN COUSINS [Figure Skating]
Cousins won the award ahead of two of the year's major stars, Seb Coe and Daley Thompson, a fact that confirms his sporting pedigree. An acrobatic figure skater, he grabbed gold in the Winter Olympics with some particularly skilful manoeuvres.
IAN BOTHAM [Cricket]
Botham single-handedly turned the 1981 Ashes series England's way. His century at Headingley remains one of cricket's greatest ever counter-attacking innings. His efforts with bat and ball helped England win the series in thrilling fashion.
DALEY THOMPSON [Athletics]
Arguably the world's best all-round athlete of the 1980s, Thompson won Commonwealth and European decathlon titles in 1982, breaking the world record twice. A double Olympic champion, he delighted crowds with his winning ways and extrovert approach.