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Gary Speed: A Welsh Great

Posted by Tom_Bevan from Cardiff - Published on 28/11/2011 at 10:19
10 comments » - Tagged as People, Sport & Leisure, Topical

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Yn Gymraeg

Yesterday morning (Sunday 27th November 2011) the Wales football manager Gary Speed was found dead at his home in Huntington, Chester.

Tributes have been flooding in for a “magnificent person”.

It has been reported that Speed, the national manager for nearly a year, was found hanged and that there are no suspicious circumstances.

Within moments of the news, tributes were issued by shocked friends, colleagues and members of the world of sport and beyond. Former Wales team mate Ryan Giggs said: "I am totally devastated. Gary Speed was one of the nicest men in football and someone I am honoured to call a teammate and friend. It goes without saying my thoughts are with his family at this tremendously sad time." 

First Minister Carwyn Jones said he was deeply saddened, "This is devastating news and our thoughts are with his family at what must be a very difficult time for them."

Having come through the training ranks at Leeds United, Speed was part of the side that won the last Football League title in 1992 and during his career won 85 international caps for Wales - a record for an outfield player. Having played for Leeds, Everton, Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers, Speed became the first player to reach 500 Premier League appearances and by the time he retired from international duty in 2004, had captained Wales 44 times. Last year, he was given the top job in Welsh football despite only having four months managerial experience - confirming the respect he had gained in the football world and his reputation as a consummate professional and excellent role model. 

Fellow former Wales team mate, Robbie Savage, tweeted: "The world has lost a great man in Gary Speed, I'm devastated. I'll miss him so much.” “He loved life, he loved his family!” “Why!” Alan Shearer, who played alongside Speed for six years at Newcastle said: "Gary was a magnificent person, bright, fun and a wonderful family man - he lit up every room he walked into. I am proud to have been his friend and will miss him dreadfully." 

Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan tweeted: "This is a sad day for football and for everyone in Wales. Gary Speed served club and country as a player and manager with great distinction." Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones added: "The whole nation is in shock - he will never be forgotten.” 

At the Liberty Stadium in Swansea - where the home side were playing Aston Villa - a minute's silence was followed by a minute's applause and already, scarves and flowers have been laid near Leeds’ home ground, something likely to be repeated elsewhere as the nation comes to terms with the loss. 

The Football Association of Wales said: "That this tragedy should have overtaken someone so young and talented is a huge loss not only for his family and friends but a nation as a whole." Phil Pritchard, FAW president, added they would do "whatever we can" to help Speed's family.

On a personal note, I remember meeting Gary Speed when I was ten-years-old and vividly recall his soft and friendly nature and brilliant smile. Just yesterday, I watched him on Football Focus as he spoke of his future as Welsh manager and he seemed in good spirits. He will be sadly missed as a talented manager and constant gentleman on and off the field in a sport with a lack of genuine role models. 

Speed, who was awarded an MBE in the 2010 Birthday Honours, leaves a wife and two children. He was 42.

Organisations  Samaritans
Info  Family & Relationships  Separation and Loss
Info  Health  Emotional and Mental Health  Suicide

10 CommentsPost a comment

National Editor

National Editor

Commented 54 months ago - 28th November 2011 - 10:46am

Still in shock. Everyone at CLIC's thoughts are also with Gary Speed's family.

Sam Sprout (Editor)

Sam Sprout (Editor)

Commented 54 months ago - 28th November 2011 - 10:50am

I just can't believe it. What a shame.



Commented 54 months ago - 28th November 2011 - 14:20pm

RIP Speedo!


Commented 54 months ago - 28th November 2011 - 20:21pm

No words can describe the pain and sadness in my heart. Speed was a legend of the game and im totally shocked that this has happened, only 18 hours earlier he was on football focus and looked very happy talking about the 2014 world cup campaign. The world has lost another son, husband and father aswell as one of the greatest football players of his generation. The only explanation i can only slightly comprehend is that he must have been trying to fight some personal demons and unfortunately for us he lost his fight. Let us not remember him for the way he died, but as a great player manager and friend.
RIP Gary Speed. The world will not forget you.


Commented 54 months ago - 28th November 2011 - 20:24pm

Gary Speed was the best player Wales have ever seen

Jeff the Fridge

Jeff the Fridge

Commented 54 months ago - 29th November 2011 - 20:40pm

still dont understand why? he was at the height of his career and evrything



Commented 54 months ago - 30th November 2011 - 17:31pm

Absolutely gutted for everyone who knew him, his wife, children, family, friends and colleagues. The world of football is in shock very very sad times.
RIP Gary Speed, the best thing to happen to Welsh Football in a long time :'( will be sorely missed.



Commented 54 months ago - 3rd December 2011 - 20:29pm

Gary Speed was a inspiration for not just Welshmen but people from every where in the world. His loss is a tragidy to the world. The Human race has lost a brave and kindhearted man.
You will always remain in our hearts.



Commented 54 months ago - 8th December 2011 - 19:10pm

It has to be awful for his family, especially with Christmas on our doorsteps. There must have been something personal that wasn't shown to the media. Shame since my stepdad said he was doing really well. x



Commented 52 months ago - 2nd February 2012 - 10:15am

rip you true welsh legand

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