In a prank slightly reminscent of the effort to elect Fred The Elephant Boy People Magazine’s Sexiest Man of the Year, there’s a scheme afoot to make former QPR striker Peter Crouch — goalless since his transfer to Liverpool — the BBC’s Sports Personality of The Year.

From the Mirror’s John Kelly.

Crouch, who cost £7million from Southampton, was also booed by England fans during a recent friendly. Despite that, the 6ft 7in player is said to be second to the favourite, England cricket hero Freddie Flintoff.

Emails are flying around the internet urging loyal Crouch fans to give him the nod in the annual poll to find Britain’s greatest sporting talent.

Previous winners have included rugby World Cup hero Jonny Wilkinson, footballer David Beckham and athlete Daley Thompson. Runner Kelly Holmes won last year after her double gold medal triumph at the Athens Olympics.

Richard Pedder, spokesman for Liverpool Supporters Club, said: “This shows that all the fans at the club are behind Peter. These votes are obviously from people who want to speak out against everyone who’s been getting on his back, giving him a hard time.”

The BBC has vowed to erase duplicate voting, but a spokesman admitted there was nothing to stop each individual vote counting towards the final result.

A spokesman said: “We are aware of a campaign for Peter Crouch. The BBC has systems in place to ensure duplicate votes are picked up and do not count towards the overall result.”