From the FWA
Gareth Bale has been chosen as the Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association.
Last year’s winner, Manchester United striker Robin van Persie, was second with Chelsea’s Juan Mata third in the voting of the FWA membership.
It has been a vintage season for Bale, 23, who has scored 29 goals so far – 24 in 40 appearances for Spurs and five in eight games for Wales.
Andy Dunn, chairman of the FWA and chief sports writer for the Sunday Mirror, said: “In a contest for votes that took so many late twists and turns, Gareth’s penchant for the spectacular captured the imagination.
“He is a player who is rising inexorably towards the rarefied levels of world stars such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Twice the PFA Player of the Year and now, two months before his 24th birthday, the FWA Footballer of the Year.
“Let’s all hope he lights up the Barclays Premier League for many seasons to come.”
In a poll that saw a 91 per cent turn-out from the FWA membership, Bale won 53 per cent of the votes ahead of Van Persie.
Apart from the top three, thee were a wide range of votes for the likes of Leighton Baines, Pablo Zabaleta, Michu, Michael Carrick and Rickie Lambert.
Bale, named Player and Young Player of the Year by the Professional Footballers’ Association last Sunday, will be presented with the trophy at the Footballer of the Year dinner at the Lancaster London on May 9.