West Ham star Scott Parker has been voted 2011 Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers Association, pipping Gareth Bale to the gong.
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In what was one of the closest contests of recent seasons, Parker topped the poll of journalists ahead of Tottenham winger Bale, who was last week named the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year.
England midfielder Parker – who started his career at Charlton before spells with Chelsea and Newcastle ahead of joining the Irons in 2007 – will receive the prestigious accolade, which has been running since 1948, at a gala dinner at the Lancaster London Hotel on May 12.
FWA chairman Steve Bates, chief football writer at The People, said: "Scott Parker has been so consistent this season with his performances in a West Ham team battling for Premier League survival and as such has forced himself back into the England national set-up.
"He has been an inspirational figure for the Irons and hopefully his professionalism will be rewarded with West Ham staying up at the end of the season.
"In what was one of the tightest votes of recent seasons, Scott is certainly a worthy winner and follows in the footsteps of a long line of superb footballers who have been given this prestigious honour."