THE most famous, the most photographed, the most looked-at and, perhaps fair to say, best-liked abdomen in the country, is set for its final exposure on Sunday.
Yes, that section of athletic body between her crop top and athletics briefs became one of the sporting images of 2012. And boy, were they plenty of them.
You could hardly open the sports page of any newspaper this summer without a regular dose of Jess Ennis and those famous abs.
Any Olympic story which mentioned any number of athletics stars and required a picture or two, well, you knew who’d be chosen to adorn the page.
So, on Sunday night, the BBC offer us the chance of a 2012 farewell to Jess and the rest as they celebrate Team GB’s Olympic achievements within their Sports Personality of the Year annual bash.
She’ll be there again, those snatches of her hurdling, long jumping and, without doubt, finally clinching gold in the 800 metres on that Super Saturday night.
When everyone was winning so much, it seemed as if it would be a really hard job picking this year’s SPOTY.
After going so close, we all hoped Jess would do it this time but it looks as if the girl with the abdomen is going to lose out to the bloke with the sideboards.
Bradley Wiggins is everybody’s hot tip and he looks set to do it unless the entire population of South Yorkshire and beyond casts their vote for the lass from Sheffield.
One thing is for sure. If it was a vote per newspaper photo this year, Jess would win it by a mile.
THERE was a suggestion (from his own manager Tony Pulis no less) that Michael Owen might be playing in Rotherham next week for Stoke City reserves.
He’s coming back from injury and Pulis wanted Owen (who is 33 today) to have some match action and the only reserve team game before Christmas was at Rotherham next Monday.
Perhaps to Owen’s relief, he got fit quicker than expected and won’t be there leaving him with just one Rotherham visit but a memory he’d rather forget!
That’s because he was sent off playing for England - and at Millmoor at that!
At only 17, having just made a dramatic introduction into Liverpool’s first team with a spectacular goal, he was named captain of England’s Under 18 side for a UEFA U18 qualifier against Yugoslavia.
A handy crowd of almost 6,000 turned up to see the boy tipped as a future star but they didn’t see much of him.
The victim of some niggly and persistent fouling, the game was still in the first half when Owen was sent tumbling on the touchline right in front of the old Press Box at Millmoor.
I clearly recall what happened next.
The offending Yugoslav defender finished literally on top of Owen who, pretty brassed off already with the treatment he’d received, started getting up and pressed his head into his opponent’s body, sort of pushing him away.
The defender reacted as if he’d been shot. Out came the red card and Owen’s game was over. And no, we didn’t get top speak to him afterwards. England manager Howard Wilkinson put a stop to that!
This was late 1997. Owen’s next appearance in England colours? Some six months later at the 1998 World Cup when he scored THAT goal against Argentina!