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Parker pips Bale to FWA award

West Ham star Scott Parker has been voted 2011 Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers Association, pipping Gareth Bale to the gong.

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.

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.

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