By Tottenham Hotspur
The winger picked up the most prestigious individual award in the English Premier League – voted for by his peers – at a ceremony on Sunday evening.
It’s just reward after a series of dazzling performances by the Wales international this term.
Gareth, only 21, has scored 11 goals in 37 appearances in all competitions so far in this campaign.
That includes his stunning hat-trick against Inter in the San Siro and arguably an even better performance against world-rated Brazilian full-back Maicon in the return at the Lane in the group stages of the Champions League.
Other highlights include his spectacular volley against Stoke in Premier League in August and kick-starting our comeback from 2-0 down to beat Arsenal 3-2 with our first goal at the Emirates.
Gareth becomes the fourth Spurs player to lift the award following Pat Jennings in 1975-76, Clive Allen in 1986-87 and David Ginola in 1998-99.
He was also on the shortlist for the PFA Young Player award and named in the Premier League’s Team of the Year.
Gareth Bale said: I am more than delighted. It’s a massive award and a great honour to receive, especially from other fellow professionals. When you look at the other names that have won it before, it just makes you go “wow” really.
“There haven’t been too many Welshman to have won the trophy but it is great and great for me personally. And it is not just for me, it is for all my team-mates who have helped me through the season.
“At the beginning, I wasn’t really playing much but I always believed in myself that if I did get a run in the team, which I eventually did, I would be able to prove what I can do. That did happen and I kind of never looked back from there.
“Playing in a good team with good players definitely helped me a lot and all the boys have been fantastic, the manager has been fantastic giving me my chance, and it is something I want to improve on.
“I want to play in the Champions League with Tottenham next season and that’s my main target. It’s massive that we get back in the Champions League. I’m enjoying my football at Tottenham. We’ve got a great manager [Harry Redknapp] and a great, young squad. We’re still learning a lot this season with the Champions League and it’s exciting times.
“We’ve got a new training ground coming, which I’m looking forward to, and hopefully a new ground as well.
“We have got a massive game against Arsenal now. We will be going all out to win. The atmosphere will be rocking and it’s the sort of game that everybody dreams of playing in.
“The fans have been unbelievable with me and I work my hardest on the pitch and give 110 per cent to repay them. They’re the best fans anyone could have.”
Manager Harry Redknapp said: “You only have to look at the players who have won it in the past, it’s an amazing achievement for a kid at that age to win this prestigious award.
“He has got everything to be a world-class player. He has got pace, can dribble, can shoot, can head it, he has got the lot really – he is such a talent.
“He has still got plenty to learn but he wants to learn and he is a smashing guy. He is still so young and will only get better and better. There is certainly a lot more to come from him.”
Michael Dawson said: “Gaz has been absolutely top class and he deserves this award.
“We always knew he had the ability and he’s been unbelievable since breaking back into the team last season.
“It’s been great to see how he’s developed. He’s got raw pace, which is so difficult to defend against and he can deliver at the end of those runs as well because he has such quality in that left foot.
“He works hard every day in training and he’s a great lad as well, so we’re all delighted for him.”