Gareth Bale wins BBC Wales Sports Personality award
Gareth Bale is handed the BBC Wales Sports Personality award by Clive Allen
Tottenham Hotspur star Gareth Bale has been honoured as the 2010 BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year.
The 21-year-old succeeds fellow Welsh footballer Ryan Giggs and was presented with the award by Spurs great Clive Allen at Tottenham's training ground.
Bale beat Commonwealth champion bowler Robert Weale into second and 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene to third.
Blue Square Bet South champions Newport County were named Team of the Year in the awards ceremony at Celtic Manor.
Sean McGoldrick's achievement of reaching the bantamweight final at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi has been recognised as the Newport boxer won the Carwyn James Junior Sportsman of the Year.
Gareth Bale is the second footballer to win the award in successive years
McGoldrick lost to Sri Lankan Manju Wanniarachchi in the Delhi 2010 final to claim a silver medal, won of Wales' 19 medals at the Commonwealths.
Jade Jones was named Carwyn James Junior Sportswoman of the Year after the Flintshire youngster won the under 55kg Taekwondo gold medal winner at the Singapore Youth Olympics in August.
Welsh golfing legend Brian Huggett, who starred in six Ryder Cups and skippered Europe in 1977, was honoured for his outstanding career with a Lifetime Achievement award at the ceremony which fittingly overlooked the host course for the 2010 Ryder Cup.
And junior football coach Lisa Jones, of Penydarren Boys and Girls football club in Merthyr, won the Welsh Sports Unsung Hero award after eight years as a volunteer.
But Bale won the top award in the BBC Cymru Wales viewers' poll after a sensational year for Tottenham in the Champions League and Premier League.
The £10m left-sided star has scored 13 goals for club and country in a phenomenal 2010 as the Welsh international helped Spurs qualify for the European Cup.
Bale was then hailed as "amazing" by Spurs boss Harry Redknapp after two sensational performances against reigning European champions Inter Milan in the Champions League - a hat-trick in a 4-3 defeat at the San Siro before inspiring Tottenham to a 3-1 win in the return fixture.
Gareth Bale 'honoured' by BBC Wales award
The 27-times capped Welshman is widely-regarded as one of the finest young footballers in the world and his achievement is the ninth time a footballer has won the BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year award in its 56-year history.
Bale could not be at the awards ceremony in Newport because the Cardiff-born player was with Tottenham's squad in the Netherlands ahead of their Champions League clash with FC Twente.
But he did tell BBC Cymru Wales: "It was a great honour just to be put up for the award so to win it is something special.
"I remember when I was a younger I was up for the young sports personality award and to be up for this now, shows how much I have come in the last couple of years.
"I'm not quite sure how to sum up my 2010 because I have not really dwelled on it, I have just got on with it.
"It has been a great year for me playing week in, week out, I've scored a few goals and the team qualified for the Champions League so there have been a lot of highlights but I'm just concentrating now and building for the future."
Bale, who arrived at White Hart Lane from Southampton in 2007, concedes he had a "rough time" at the start of his Spurs career as he suffered almost 18 months on the injury list after foot surgery and knee problems.
He then endured an unwanted record of playing 24 Premier League games without being on the winning side before Spurs' win over Burnley in September 2009.
Now his stunning performances of the left-flank, tormenting some of Europe's top defenders, have attracted the attentions of rivals clubs and Bale has been linked with a £60m move away from White Hart Lane.
"I do look back on certain things that have happened and it has been a great year for me," Bale concluded.
"Looking back on some things I think 'wow' and a year ago I did not think I would be doing stuff like that."
* Catch the full Gareth Bale interview on Sport Wales on BBC TWO Wales this Friday at 1900 GMT.
* BBC Wales' 2010 Sports Review of the Year will be screened on BBC ONE Wales on Tuesday, 21 December at 2235 GMT.
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