• Player of the Year awards

Bale scoops another Player of the Year gong

ESPN staff
May 2, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Gareth Bale is the first Spurs winner of the FWA award since David Ginola in 1999 © Getty Images
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Tottenham star Gareth Bale has been named as the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year.

Bale has had a stellar season for Tottenham and last month was named the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year.

And that award, which he took in tandem with the Young Player prize, has been followed with the Football Writers' gong as he fended off competition from Manchester United striker Robin van Persie.

"The race became very close," the FWA's Andy Dunn told Sky Sports News. "At one point earlier in the season there was a feeling that Luis Suarez would possibly be involved but it turned out to be between Gareth Bale and Robin van Persie.

"In the end we had a record turnout. Almost 92% of members voted and Gareth Bale got 53% of those votes, with Robin Van Persie 43%. Between them they hoovered up 96% of the votes.

"It was clearly a two-horse race which went right to the end with Van Persie getting more support after his hat-trick against Aston Villa.

"It was a case of one & two and the rest nowhere, but third was Juan Mata."

Bale said: "It is a huge honour to receive the Footballer of the Year award from the Football Writers' Association.

"It means a lot to win this award when you consider the number of players that have been outstanding for their clubs in the Barclays Premier League this season.

"I have been very fortunate to be playing in such a fantastic team and I owe a lot to my team-mates and, obviously, the manager who has shown such faith in me.

"This award has been won in the past by some of the greatest names in football and I consider it a privilege that the FWA has selected me to be named alongside them.''

Bale becomes Spurs' first winner of the FWA award since David Ginola in 1999, and the first Wales international to be selected for English football's oldest individual trophy since Everton's Neville Southall in 1985.

He is also the first player to win the FWA and both PFA awards since Cristiano Ronaldo in 2007.

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