Image copyright AFP Image caption “We thought we would save all the money for one night but when I made my flight it was delayed so we didn’t make it,” says Persina Geryes
The 2018 BBC Sports Personality of the Year is set to be fought out by a stellar line-up of prize winners and winners-in-waiting.
Surprise package Wilshere added some bookend glamour with a shock appearance in the race for the BBC’s biggest sports award.
Wilshere, who won the 2015 BBC award, drove a private plane from Bournemouth to London so he could surprise his wife Persina by presenting her with a gift package.
The winger, still 23 and young enough to be Persina’s son, said he did it as a “favour” to his wife – who is expecting the couple’s first child.
A hooded figure in a baseball cap, Wilshere disembarked from the aircraft with the surprise gift – a teddy bear.
“I gave her the gift first and then I flew back to Bournemouth and I played in the game,” he said.
“We thought we would save all the money for one night but when I made my flight it was delayed so we didn’t make it.”
BBC Sport presenter Gabby Logan thinks it is “quite extraordinary” that the match-winner managed to get Mrs Wilshere on board the plane that night.
It was memorable and it showed off how good of a husband he is in the eyes of his wife, says Logan.
Has anyone surprised their wife before?
Well, a footballer kind of depends on the individual.
“Funnily enough when you look at this year’s winner Wilshere it might just have happened,” says Logan.
“If anybody could get anyone to be in the holiday edition of a BBC Sports Personality of the Year we would argue for him. He is my lucky charm. I don’t know what I would do if he wasn’t there but it’s a very bright future.”
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Persina tweeted this image with the message: “It just feels like this journey has a plan”
The Championship winner adds: “It’s very fitting that he was the person who won that award because it was the pinnacle of his career.
“I have known that little trophy for so long and every time I look at it I will remember it in a certain way. I never thought this could happen, I am so happy he won it.”
Wilshere was voted Sport Personality of the Year in 2015 by a panel of sports media and dignitaries.
In 2017 he scored five goals in 10 games for Bournemouth – and then went and won the Race For The BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
The trophy went to Harry Kane, who had won the award in 2016, the first player to win it in consecutive years.
See where you can see all the highlights from the show:
The BBC Sport annual Sports Personality of the Year is voted for by the BBC’s sports editors and members of the public, who can pre-order the evening’s show by clicking here. It will be broadcast on BBC One on Sunday, 22 December 2019.