Gareth wins FWA Footballer of the Year
Gareth Bale has been named Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers' Association.
In doing so, he becomes only the second player in history to win all three major individual awards in the game, after lifting the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) Young Player and Player of the Year titles on Sunday.
Ronaldo first completed that feat during his time at Manchester United in 2006-07.
The FWA Footballer of the Year Award is voted for by members of the Football Writers Association and was first presented to the great Sir Stanley Matthews in the 1947-48 season.
Last year’s winner, Manchester United striker Robin van Persie, was second with Chelsea’s Juan Mata third.
A delighted Gareth 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've 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 have selected me to be named alongside them."
It has been a vintage season for Gareth, 23, who has scored 29 goals so far - 24 in 40 appearances for Spurs and five in eight games for Wales. He's bagged 19 in 29 matches in the Premier League.
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.
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.”
SPURS AND THE FWA FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Gareth is the eighth Spurs player to lift the FWA award and the Spurs names on the trophy are who's who of Lane legends including double-winning captain Danny Blanchflower, Pat Jennings, Clive Allen and David Ginola.
Gareth joins Clive (1986-87) and David (1998-98) as Spurs players to have lifted both the PFA and FWA awards.
1957-58 - Danny Blanchflower
1972-73 - Pat Jennings
1981-82 - Steve Perryman
1986-87 - Clive Allen
1991-92 - Gary Lineker
1994-95 - Jurgen Klinsmann
1998-99 - David Ginola
2012-13 - Gareth Bale
FWA FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR
It was Charles Buchan, the publisher and writer of Football Monthly as well as one of the founding fathers of the FWA, who suggested that an award should be given “to the professional player who by precept and example is considered by a ballot of members to be the footballer of the year.”
That was back in 1947 and since then the Footballer of the Year Award has become the most prestigious award in the British game.