On another related topic, I'm always a bit surprised to remember that Greg Rudeski won in 97. I know he made the final of the US Open, buy, hey, no disrespect intended - it must have been a quiet year for British sport........
I can't find out who the nominees were but Rusedski won, as you say, Henman was second and Steve Redgrave third, so it would seem that tennis ruled that year. As far as I can see though 1997 was a better year for British teams than it was was for individual sportsmen/women.
In the last seven years Murray's win was by the highest margin, had the highest proportion of votes and was only second in total votes to Wiggins last year.
So overall Murray really has done better than most of us thought.