On an evening set aside to pay tribute to one of British football's finest gentleman, not least most decorated players of any generation, it was fitting that a player with comparable credentials to dominate an era in an altogether differing style, had the final and clinical word in an encounter that said everything about sport's volatility.

Perhaps the most telling tale surrounding Bobby Moore, who remains the only England captain to have lifted the World Cup and whose memory was marked by a series of tributes at Upton Park on Monday evening, is how he demanded the £22,000 bonus paid by The Football Association after the momentous win in 1966, be divided equally among the 22-man squad, including those non-playing members.

But having scored or assisted 10 of Tottenham Hotspur's last 11 goals and singlehandedly spearheaded their assault on the Europa League and Champions League qualification; you'd be forgiven for thinking Gareth Bale deserved every award coming his way, financial or otherwise after another startling performance, including a breathtaking 30-yard winner in the 90th minute, defeated West Ham United.

Gareth Bale
Bale scored a memorable 90th minute winner to defeat West Ham United.

The season has worked to confirm how Bale has emphatically outgrown Tottenham's ambitions, even if his talent continues to burgeon, from his days as a misfit full-back, who couldn't buy a win while playing for the north Londoners. Nowadays, it's hard to see Spurs losing with the Welshman in toe.

Bale's pace, even his fierce shot are no secret to admires in Britain or in Europe having ripped through Inter Milan twice in 2010. His marked improvement has come from his intelligence in matches for club and country, his versatility within both Spurs and Wales teams tailor-made to promote a starring role.

It's said of Cristiano Ronaldo that the former Ballon d'Or winner hunts space to expose weaknesses in an opponents' rear-guard, never content to conform to positioning or team shape. Bale has shown in swathes this term that he possesses the same ruthless streak; coming in off the left to deadly effect, boasting visionary passes and a merciless eye for goal. His set-piece routine appears familiar too.

As oppose to becoming an accomplished winger and imitating the traits of Ryan Giggs in his pomp, the 23 year old has moved with the times and shown a longing to be as rounded a footballer as possible, not settling on his God-given talents but keen to develop other strings to his widening bow.

Many, including former Wales striker John Hartson, have noted how Bale must surely leave the Premier League to assist in fulfilling his footballing destiny. But such a view is too simplistic and is emphasised by the trials of Luka Modric at Real Madrid, and undermined by his rapid improvement this season; the glass ceiling is unfathomable also.

Whether this season will end with the footballer of the year award will likely be dictated by whether Tottenham finish in those elusive Champions League spots, and thus his influence on that eventual result.

But on an evening devoted to a man in Moore who inspired a nation, the confirmation, not the coming, of British football's next icon was the ambiding memory. He'd have wanted it that way.