Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Double delight for Bale

Gareth Bale has won both the PFA Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards

Tottenham forward Gareth Bale has rounded off a remarkable season by becoming the first player since Cristiano Ronaldo to do the double at the PFA Player of the Year awards.

Bale beat off competition from Luis Suarez, Robin van Persie, Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Michael Carrick to win the senior gong for the 2012-13 season.

The Welshman also took home the Young Player of the Year award, making him only the third player in history to receive both prizes in the same season.

"It's a massive honour," the Welshman said. "To be voted by your peers is one of the biggest things in the game. It's great to win it and I am delighted."

Ronaldo scooped both the young player and the main award in 2007, some 30 years after Andy Gray become the first professional to do so.

Bale won the senior award two seasons ago when he shot to fame with a series of scintillating displays domestically and in the Champions League.

But he has gone on to become an even better player since, transforming himself in to a goal scoring machine that has found the net 29 times for club and country so far this season. Bale's talents on the pitch are worthy of praise, and his attitude off it has also been complimented.

Coach Eric Harrison was awarded the Merit award for his role in bringing through the stars from Manchester United's academy at the start of the 1990s.

Arsenal Ladies midfielder Kim Little won the inaugural Women's Player of the Year award. Little, 22, has been a regular at Arsenal since she joined from Hibernian at the age of 16 and last summer was a part of the British Olympic team at London 2012.

This is the first time that the PFA have handed out a women's award as next year will be the first season that females are allowed to join the organisation.

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