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Everton v Sunderland - Premier League.

Sports fans react to the news that Jermain Defore hasn't made the final 12 SPOTY nominees

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It's the time of the year where we celebrate all the best things that have happened in sport over the past 12 months again.

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year award is always a huge debate among fans in the United Kingdom, with followers keen for the stars of their sport to get the trophy.

Andy Murray maintained his stranglehold on the award last time out, winning it for the third time in three years, though due to his injury woes he hasn't even made the shortlist for 2017.

That presents an opportunity for a new sports star to get their name up in lights, with Anthony Joshua the front runner, though he is expected to be pushed all the way by 2014 winner Lewis Hamilton.

Harry Kane has been nominated for the first time following his second consecutive Premier League golden boot last season, while Mo Farah, Adam Peaty and Chris Froome have all been there before.

Jonathan Rea, Anya Shrubsole and Jonnie Peacock have also made the last 12, alongside Elise Christie, Jo Konta and Bianca Walkden.

However, one stand-out name that hasn't made the shortlist is Jermain Defoe.

Tottenham Hotspur v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League

The Bournemouth striker touched the hearts of sports fans everywhere for his friendship with Bradley Lowery, during his time at Sunderland.

Defoe walked Bradley onto the pitch as a mascot for both England and the Black Cats, as well as visiting him on a regular basis at his home and at hospital, before he lost his heart-breaking battle with cancer in July, at the age of 6.

FBL-ENG-PR-EVERTON-SUNDERLAND

When asked about him last month, Defoe gave an emotional response.

"I'll never forget him. I still have messages on my phone – and videos," he said.

"I think about him every single day and get upset about his death because it is still fresh... the pain he went through.

"It was a tough time but our relationship was special. Bradley always cracked a smile. He was a special kid."

England v Lithuania - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier

A petition was launched shortly after Bradley passed away to have the England striker named as the winner of the award, which over 2,000 people signed.

When the final shortlist was announced earlier, fans noticed Defoe's name was missing - and they took to Twitter to react angrily to the news.

It has been suggested that Defoe may win a special award on the night to commemorate everything he did with Bradley instead.

The official award focuses on a person's sporting achievements, rather than anything they've done outside of the game.

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Topics:
Sunderland
West Ham United
Bournemouth
England Football
Premier League
Football
Tottenham Hotspur
Jermain Defoe

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