Beckham, Giggs and Gascoigne and the Footballers at SPOTY

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Beckham, Giggs and Gascoigne and the Footballers at SPOTY
Warren Little/Getty Images

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year is a prestigious sporting award in the UK, handed out each December to the person who has achieved remarkable success and progress during the past 12 months.

While the initial list for those who might win each year is determined by a panel from the organisers, the eventual winner is decided by public vote, with the top three receiving recognition.

With such a wide range of sporting personalities to choose from, footballers have traditionally had to have great impact to feature in the top three, with just 20 such instances occurring since its inception in 1954.

There are no footballers in the running to win the 2013 version of the award, so here's a look back at how each of the previous top three representatives won their place in sporting history.

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