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Gary Ablett - a lovely man who will be sadly missed

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Phil McNulty | 12:04 UK time, Monday, 2 January 2012

Gary Ablett, who has died at the age of 46, had a career to be proud of and will always be guaranteed a unique place in Merseyside football history.

Ablett, who had suffered from non-Hodgkins lymphoma for 16 months, was the first - and still the only - player to have won the FA Cup with both Liverpool and Everton.

He will also be remembered by anyone who ever had personal dealings with him as one of the game's genuinely nice men, something that can be said too easily at times like this but in Ablett's case so true.

Even as recently as November, when he celebrated his 46th birthday, he was replying personally to Tweets sent to him by well-wishers with good humour and remarkable optimism given the seriousness of his condition.

Gary Ablett

Ablett won FA Cups with both Liverpool and Everton. Photo: Getty

Ablett was popular not just with his fellow professionals but also with the media. Always willing to chat in good times and bad and with a lovely line in self-deprecating humour, his death at such an early age will be widely mourned.

As his family come to terms with their loss, they can reflect on a man who had a playing career anyone would be proud of. They can also reflect on someone who, even though fiercely committed on the field of play, was a gentleman off it. A credit to himself and the game.

As a player he made his name in Kenny Dalglish's Liverpool team of the second half of the 80s, performing with versatility and distinction as a left-back and central defender in a team that contained such stellar talents as Alan Hansen, Ian Rush and the player-manager himself.

Ablett was in Liverpool's side that won the post-Hillsborough FA Cup Final against Everton in 1989 and also won the title twice at Anfield, only being denied a third success by Michael Thomas's famous final intervention of that 1989 season that took the crown to Arsenal.

Perhaps the most remarkable turn of his career came in January 1992, when he left Liverpool for Everton in a £750,000 deal, a gamble by then manager Howard Kendall given the nature of the deal but one which was ultimately fully justified.

I recall Kendall passionately defending his move and the player at the time, maybe realising that Ablett's arrival from Anfield would not necessarily be a cause for widespread rejoicing on the royal blue half of Merseyside.

It was a move inevitably regarded with suspicion and scepticism by many Everton supporters and yet in the contrary manner that often marks out football fans, they were very careful not to show it given the courage Ablett had shown in making the move.

They got fully behind Ablett and once again, particularly under Joe Royle, the faith reaped dividends. Royle wisely used Ablett's defensive solidity as a safety valve to release the attacking instincts of Andy Hinchliffe, always happier providing telling deliveries for the likes of Duncan Ferguson.

Ablett was crucial to a game-plan that saved Everton from what looked like certain relegation until Royle's arrival. Ablett duly took his place in history in May 1995 when he played in Everton's side when they beat Manchester United 1-0 at Wembley to claim the FA Cup.

He may not have enjoyed those successes again as he embarked on a nomadic conclusion to a playing career that included a spell at Long Island Rough Riders in America - but his standing in the game ensured Ablett would be in demand as a coach.

Ablett's year-long managerial career at Stockport County was unfulfilling, hard times with the club in administration, but he showed his quality working with and guiding young players for four years at Everton's academy before becoming reserve team coach at Liverpool in 2006 for a three-year spell.

Roy Keane knew enough about Ablett to take him to Ipswich Town as a member of his backroom team, which is where he was when he was taken ill in 2010.

Ablett was held in genuine affection throughout the game and the tributes pouring in from a Merseyside football community united in sadness by his death are an accurate measure of a lovely man and a fine footballer.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    46 is no age to die is it.

    as a part-time hypochondriac i'll be checking out this horrible disease this afternoon.

  • Comment number 2.

    Rest In Peace Gary Ablett.

    It is so sad when anyone succumbs to this awful disease. We can take this moment to express our sorrow and remember the man for what he was, and what he achieved. A multiple league title and FA Cup winner, a bona fide legend on Merseyside with great admiration and respect from both Liverpool and Everton fans. The tributes pouring in from old colleagues, team mates and friends tell us all we wanted to know about the man. An immensely likeable, hard working and successful man.

    My personal memory of Gary Ablett was the sterling work he did as manager of Liverpool reserves when he led them to the Northern and National Titles in 2008. Another promising manager in the making.

    Thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time, and he'll always be a legend in the City of Liverpool.

  • Comment number 3.

    Very sad news...R.I.P. Gary

  • Comment number 4.

    My memories of Gary as a football fan were like many others, that he ws a cultured and skillful defender who graced whatever team he played for. However I was lucky enough to meet him when I managed a hostel for young homeless kids in 2000. The hostel run by the St Basil's Housing Association and had links with Birmingham City FC and we asked if they could send a player to help us with an open day. Gary turned up with the company secretary, and spent some time with everyone and helped with a pool tournament and gave the day a great boost. He was friendly and sympathetic to the work that we were doing and fantastic with the kids. I am proud to have met him and along with everyone else send my condolences to his family and friends.

  • Comment number 5.

    As a United fan I have vague memories of Gary playing for Everton in the early-to-mid 90s...including the embarrassment that was the '95 FA Cup final...as a pretty solid player! RIP!

  • Comment number 6.

    Very sad news indeed, Ninja was greatly respected from both sides of Stanley Park, not just for his attributes as a really good defender but also as a true gentleman. RIP Gary and best wishes to his wife and three kids.

  • Comment number 7.

    MGUK82

    Spot on there, as very solid player but one of those players that every team needs, a player you could depend on, one who gave 100% week in week out.

    It is very sad to hear of Gary's passing at such an early age, my condolences go to his family and those that knew him.

  • Comment number 8.

    Such a shame that he had to die so young. A small consolation is that he touchd many people and will always be remembered as the true gentleman he was and he is someone that modern professionals should be keen to emulate. Not just for his ability but for his conduct on and off the pitch.

    P.S. I am trying to recreate the old 606 at http://bit.ly/tw6Bdj

  • Comment number 9.

    Very sad to hear, Ablett never let anyone down on the pitch and was so unfortunate to depart at such a young age, best wishes to his family. Ime hoping are club can do something special as a tribute to the man.

    To play for both merseyside Clubs when he did should tell most of the quality he had- you will be missed by both Blues and Reds alike RIP.

  • Comment number 10.

    sad news indeed.

    Shine on You Crazy Diamond.

  • Comment number 11.

    Phil
    I've posted here before stating that I was fortunate enough to work at LFC between 1979-89 and one of the bonuses was some of the people you met such as Fagan, Paisley, Twentymen etc. I am proud to add to that list a guy who I first met as a shy, quiet 18 year old who lived down the road from me and I would give a lift to Anfield of a morning. It was Gary Ablett and even at that tender age, the thing that stood out about him was his impeccable manners and his maturity. He never had a bad word to say about anybody and I recall a Friday lunchtime when he had just returned from training at Melwood and was buzzing because KD had told him to go home and pack a an overnight bag because he would be travelling down to Southampton later on with the first team. I was made up for him.
    So unassuming, so polite but so determined never giving less than 100% whichever shirt he wore. I believe that he is the only person to have won FA Cup winners medals for both Liverpool and Everton and no one would be better suited for such an accolade, one of life's genuine nice guys. RIP mate and thanks for some lovely memories

  • Comment number 12.

    Footballer deaths (albeit retired) as painful as it is must be an opprtunity for footballers to put things into perspective. Of course people speak good of the dead, still it helps that a footballer is remembered for good. Current footballers can learn.

  • Comment number 13.

    R.I.P gary ablett 46 is no real age

  • Comment number 14.

    As a Liverpool fan not much younger than Gary I remember his playing days clearly. His first game I thought "who the heck is this gangly creature" Shows what I know...he turned out to be a terrific defender. I also remember his first goal and him turning around with a look of shock on his face. He had no idea how to celebrate. A mark of how humble he was I suppose. RIP Gary. Condolences to your family. The world has lost a good'un!

  • Comment number 15.

    Whilst playing for for a local amateur side in Devon I played against, and was marked by, Gary Ablett in a pre-season friendly in his Birmingham days in 1997. Needless to say I didn't get a kick against such a quality player!!! Condolences to his family and friends for such a sad loss.

  • Comment number 16.

    I was totally gobsmacked to hear such appalling news , after the passing of late lamented "Gary speed" that was fiendishly unbearable , another decent "Gary" will be so muchly missed by everyone . My heart goes out to his family ,relatives and close friends at this very sad time , what a great person he was , Rest In Peace!!

  • Comment number 17.

    As a County fan, the tragically early death of Gary Ablett is deeply shocking. He was our manager while the club was in administration and was in free fall, and he conducted himself with huge dignity. Most managers complain about almost anything. He stoicly bore an appalling situation, under inept administrators, without bad mouthing anyone.

  • Comment number 18.

    We were friends at senior school. Played and laughed together. Sad loss, and my thoughts are with his family. Rest in peace 'Abbo'

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 20.

    So sad to hear about this, I just hope he didn't die in severe pain :(

    My thoughts are with his family at such sad news.

    It really does put football in perspective.

  • Comment number 21.

    So sad, my thoughts are with his family. RIP Gary

  • Comment number 22.

    My thoughts are with his family. I have great memories of seeing him play for Everton.

    RIP Gary. I expect to be taking part in a minute's applause on Wednesday night.

  • Comment number 23.

    Post 1

    Your first comment was ok but the second one wasnt very tasteful given Abletts very sad death

    RIP Gary

  • Comment number 24.

    You never think footballers, who are supremely fit athletes would succumb to such a dreadful disease. My brother-in-law was a pro footballer in the 80's and 90's (thankfully still going strong), personally I'm a speedway fan, but one has to admire the fitness of footballers. RIP Gary and deepest sympathies to your family.

  • Comment number 25.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 26.

    @25 I think you should keep your possibly misguided conclusions to yourself. This is not the time!

  • Comment number 27.

    @25 Wow! I just read up on the disease and your comment has no foundation! Shame on you!

  • Comment number 28.

    25. Terrible taste and timing of a biggoted opinion. Before making such comments think of the hurt his family are feeling right now and then the twisting of the knife by such comments .. Not very nice.....

  • Comment number 29.

    @26
    I couldn't agree more. A well loved, respected man has passed away in his mid-forties. When Gary Speed died six weeks ago Phil's blog was respectful and moving, but some people insisted on "wondering out loud" about tasteless and unnecessary theories. I'll say now what I said then. I never met this man, I'm just a fan who appreciated him as a fine footballer. It's none of my business to speculate on this tragic death, my only reason for posting is to pay my respects. RIP.

  • Comment number 30.

    @25 You should be ashamed of yourself for posting such misguided comments. We lost our 12 year old son to NHL last September so we are disgusted at what you are indicating. We can also relate to how Gary's family are feeling so they are in our thoughts. Perhaps think of the family & how we can help others in that situation. We have formed the Alex Hulme Foundation to do just that.

  • Comment number 31.

    25.
    You are totally incorrect with your comments.
    I also suffer with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma and I do not have HIV and I seriously doubt that Gary Ablett did. I suggest you educate yourself as you are disrespecting all of us who suffer from this illness
    Gary made a few loan appearances for my team Derby County and he will be greatly missed. A very good player and from the comments a very nice person as well.
    Rest in peace Gary - the rest of us NHL sufferers have lost one of our own.

  • Comment number 32.

    I was very sad to hear of the death of Gary Ablett. My thoughts go to his family and close friends at this difficult time. As a Liverpool fan I remember him with fondness as a player during the late 1980s and was really sad when he went to Everton.

    As someone who suffered with Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma I know some of the things that Gary would have been through in the last 16 months, the tough times that he would have experienced and difficult times his family would have gone through as well. I was lucky to have come through my treatment successfully, thanks to fantastic care at my local hospital, the amazing suport of family and friends and recent breakthroughs in the treatment of the disease.

    Clearly Gary was not so lucky. The incidence of Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma is on the increase and yet it is not widely known or recognised. I cannot believe the ill judged comments made by Neeranaam in post 25 above. They display some amazing ignorance of the disease and as well as a total lack of sensitivity at this time. This is the first time that I have posted a cooment here or on any other forum and I am literally shaking as I type this. Please, check your facts and engage your brain before you type.

  • Comment number 33.

    Very sad, 46, so young. RIP.

  • Comment number 34.

    25. Faz i agree Terrible taste, people should be mindful of hurtful bigoted comments there is no need to sully the mans reputation. The family will be hurting enough without
    comments such as that

  • Comment number 35.

    @29 Amen to that!

  • Comment number 36.

    @34 Some people just need a news item to be controversial. The troll is an unfortunate byproduct of the internet. Luckily people with morals outnumber them.

  • Comment number 37.

    My thoughts, as does those of everybody who new him, go to Garry's family at this awful time - a realy poor start to the New Year not only for them but also ourselvels on hearing this news.
    What a sad day for all the clubs that Garry was associated with as they would all have had only good memories of the man's smile, warmth, intergriry and his understanding and respect for others.
    Such a waste!
    RIP

  • Comment number 38.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 39.

    HIV is is either contracted via a blood transfusion (he never had one) or via sexual activity. He was a happily married man for many years. So yes, your speculation is hurtful and invalid. Please go away!

  • Comment number 40.

    Sad news to lose another well respected player so young.

  • Comment number 41.

    As a Man U fan, recent events seem to've put us & the Mickey-mousers at each other's throats.

    But not this-bloody terrible-far too young for a so-solid club man and family guy to die. You looked at him in that defence & thought, maybe this guy is the weak link we can work on.

    No way,Jose, he was a model of consistency-just like Chris Lawler in Shankly's first Title-winning side. Did he EVER have a bad game, you Scousers, because I can't remember one?

    God bless, Gary.

  • Comment number 42.

    @19 - I'm not sure how Gary's family feel about it, but it is some kind of memorial that his name shall live on in subculture rhyming slang. For me I'll remember him as that rare footballer to be respected on both side of a Derby. Hard to think of too many others that could manage it...

  • Comment number 43.

    Sad news to start the new footballing year. After the passing of Gary Speed, the death of Gary Ablett at 46 is so moving. He was obviously seriously ill and hopefully is now resting in peace wherever he is.

    I don't really remember too much of him playing, I'm a bit too young, but I remember him having the most incredible consistency. He was a very intelligent player and a great reader of the game. He was one of those players that could go unnoticed but was vital to the success and loved by all his colleagues.

    The people that knew him talk of a man with great integrity, a true professional and just a really nice bloke. A man loved and respected on both sides of Stanley park is a rare thing indeed, that is a worthy tribute.

  • Comment number 44.

    Watched Gary from the terraces of many grounds during the late 80's. Top class player and gentleman.
    RIP

  • Comment number 45.

    Good solid defender and a model pro.

    RIP

  • Comment number 46.

    When I think of Gary Ablett, I am transported to a time of transition of the power in domestic English football, i.e. the decline of Liverpool and the rise of Man U and a few other clubs. Whether you are a LFC supporter or not, it is always a precious and inspirational experience to witness one man throw his every muscle on the line for a cause. Gary Ablett was one such man. My memories of Gary in a red shirt : he played in teams that were, in my opinion, weaker than the great LFC sides of years gone by. Yet he played as if his life depended upon it. It is a measure of a man that, when others stop believing in you, you continue to believe in yourself. Gary taught me that lesson : be yourself, play to your own strengths. At a time in my life when I need inspiration and guidance, the memory of Gary on the pitch will live on in my personal experiences. I wish the Ablett family peace and strength during this time, and henceforth. I carry the memory of your husband/father/brother/son forward in my life. Thank you, Gary.

  • Comment number 47.

    Thoughts with Gary's family at this time. He will be remembered as a true gent in and out of football and a gentle giant by both sides of Stanley Park.

    RlP

  • Comment number 48.

    Affectionately known as "bad ball Gary", as many of his deep searching passes use to usually end up in Row Z of the Kemlyn Road stand. But it was an affectionate name, as he would do more than enough at the back to compensate for his lack of pin-point accuracy going forward.

    R.I.P Gary, my thoughts are with your family.

  • Comment number 49.

    i used to imagine i was him as a kid playing footy in the living room even when he went to everton great player for us and everton am sure everyone will agree with me on this my thoughts are with his family

    R.I.P GARY YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE

  • Comment number 50.

    What a terrible shock, an excellent defender and was still working as a coach up to his illness.

    Many condolences to his friends and family.

  • Comment number 51.

    @30. I just viewed your website. My heart goes out to you. What a terrible loss. I lost my Brother to cancer at a young age. It's something you never forget but you can move forward. It just takes time.

  • Comment number 52.

    R I P Gary-A thorough gentleman respected on both sides of merseyside,what more to say.My thoughts are with his family

  • Comment number 53.

    I just had to write a message of condolence for Gary Ablett, as this much loved guy played a big part in my growing up to become the person I became today. Gary Ablett I remember you as you were and what you gave the people who watched you as a footballer. I am truly happy you played for my beloved Liverpool football club and the many years you gave us along with the great service you provided for our club. I would like to thank you personally for all you did.

    My heart goes out to Gary Abletts family, his friends and anybody who had an association with him. I hope with time you will find peace in your hearts and soon just be able to remember all the good things Gary Ablett did as a person and leave a place for him in your hearts always.

  • Comment number 54.

    Another giant of the age of innocence has fallen where football was played in a more passionate and beautiful way. Still remember vividly his elegant strides on the pitch and the determined look on his composed face as well as his obvious dedication. Gary Ablett used to be our hero when we were kids growing up in another continent. We used to emulate every bit of his movement while playing, especially for Liverpool. Gary, you are still our hero and will always be.

  • Comment number 55.

    Very sad news. I grew up watching that great Liverpool side of the mid and late 80s, I fondly remember Gary Ablett at left back for probably the best ever Liverpool team of season 1988. There were special talents like Beardsley, Barnes, Houghton and McMahon in that side and yet he never looked out of place alongside them, with his industry and commitment and cultured left foot. I attended the 1989 Cup Final and recall him playing his part in a dramatic Liverpool victory over a brave Everton side. Played in stifling heat, that game had everything, not least the joyous pitch invasions of Everton fans upon their repeated equalisers! Such memories...and Gary Ablett was there, on that Wembley pitch. Of course this was the year of the Hillsborough tragedy so any player associated with that team has very special significance. Solid with Everton too when he moved there. Fitting that he is the only player to have won the FA Cup with both Red and Blue, following the very popular Everton victory of 1995.
    So young to go. R.I.P Gary Ablett.

  • Comment number 56.

    So sad to hear of the passing of Gary Ablett. Our thoughts go out to his family at this sad time. Sad loss of 2 great professionals (Gary-Ablett-Speed) in such a short space and time. RIP.

  • Comment number 57.

    A nice article Phil. Gary Ablett was a nice man and its nice to know he was successful as a nice man. Its just sad he has died so young. Heartfelt condolences to his family.

    RIP
    YNWA

  • Comment number 58.

    I was shocked when I heard the news yesterday - so young. Puts everything into perspective when something as tragic as this happens. Very sad news. RIP. YNWA.

  • Comment number 59.

    Sad news.

    I watched the ’89 Cup Final at my team’s clubrooms with my team mates. We had a drinking game where we drew a player’s name out of the hat and whenever the commentator mentioned our player’s name we had to down our drink. I drew Gary Ablett’s name and recall getting thirsty. The poor bloke who drew Ian Rush’s name was just about unconscious by the end!

    This sort of summed up Gary Ablett as a player. He was an efficient, solid, uncomplicated, unfussy and a very accomplished and professional defender. I hope he gets the same sort of appreciation from his peers that Gary Speed did as he deserves no less.

  • Comment number 60.

    Courage and civility in the heat of battle is a very national trait, but a combination rarely found in football players. He had it and many could learn from him but few will!

  • Comment number 61.

    What a shame, very young, a nice bloke, RIP.

    CTID.

  • Comment number 62.

    I don't understand the press and the public in relation to this death compared to Gary Speed. Ablett was a decent player, not top class, the same as Speed. He had a good career, won a few things and appeared to be a decent bloke, the same as Gary Speed. Ablett's death is a tragedy as he had no control over the illness that ended his life. Speed took his own life and there is nothing tragic about that at all. Both left a family behind. Despite this, a few people have commented and some nice 'He was a decent bloke and a good player' etc. comments have been made but nothing more. I doubt there will be silences/applause all over the country and outpourings of grief over Ablett and yet his death is sadder than Speeds ever was or will be.
    I feel for Ablett's family and wish them all the best in this sad and difficult time. I hope they are proud of what he achieved, making the most of his too short life.

  • Comment number 63.

    hi there i woke up yesterday monday in shock on bbc web site to see gary passed away im a liverpool fan all my life dont go has many games has used to do still go lots but in 80,s and 90,s i very rearly missed games and i remember watching gary all the time what a fantastic player he was and shook has hand once at anfeild what a true gentleman he was he will be so much missed may godbless his soul rip gary thaks for your wonderful life you gave us and all your happiness god bless you gary and my thoughts are with is family always

  • Comment number 64.

    I am very sorry for his family and friends for the loss they have suffered. I recall him as a reliable solid player at whatever club he was at. To cross the city and win the FA Cup at both clubs is amazing.

    I suffer from this same form of cancer and was diagnosed in November 2010 and I am 47 so hearing of his death yesterday has affected me quite a bit as anyone can imagine. I have responded very well to treatement just as he apparently did for a long time. It has shaken me up quite a bit I can tell you to hear how quickly it can get the better of you...

    RIP Gary...

  • Comment number 65.

    Gary a true gent. YOU WILL NEVER WALK ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 66.

    I have been, and still am, someone who has nh lymphoma. It comes in various grades and in varying severity. This is the same illness that took David Rocastle a few years ago. Treatments have come on greatly since I first needed any back in 1997. For some of us, the lucky ones, it works. Sadly, for Gary, it didn't. If you do have nhl, or know somebody who does, it is an illness that can be successfully treated, so please take no notice of any sensationalist comments that you might see. Gary's family will need time to come to terms with their loss - what will help are be the positive comments that are pouring forth from those who knew him, watched him or played against him.

  • Comment number 67.

    I grew up in the next street to Gary and went to school with him. As a kid I played footy in the street with Gary and Geoff his brother (who i thought was a better player at the time).

    Shocked to hear the news.

    RIP Gary YNWA

  • Comment number 68.

    A true gentleman. RIP Gary. Bennieh

  • Comment number 69.

    I went to senior shcool with Gary and spent a lot of time with him as we both played football and cricket,he was a genuine guy who had a wicked sense of humour will be sadly missed thoughts with his family.

  • Comment number 70.

    Bootofthemax: Personally, I have better memories of Speed than I do of Abblett as a player and secondly, remember that when Speed died he was the manager of the Wales national team! Hence the greater amount of hype.

    Secondly poor mental health is still poor health - depression is something that's very hard to control!

  • Comment number 71.

    Swg58 in 66 above is right that there are many forms of this disease and the majority I beleive respond well to treatment as I have done.

    Its also very reassuring to someone like me, who is relatively recently diagnosed, after hearing of Gary's sad passing, to hear of someone like Swg58 who was diagnosed in 97 and is doing well. I'm still very much still trying to come to terms with it.

    Gary made an effort to publicise this and other diseases through Blue September and I thank him for this.

  • Comment number 72.

    Ok - so when the financial reality finally dawns on the people and we agree to have a shared stadium - I suggest that we ensure that there is at least a Gary Ablett Stand ....a fitting tribute to a stalwart footballer who has a unique achievement to his name.

  • Comment number 73.

    Remember watching him play and genuine nice guy seems appropriate but solid and as a united supporter have a lot of respect for all the goals he stopped us from scoring....

  • Comment number 74.

    As a Gunners fan, i recall him well. Good player. Condolences to his family.

  • Comment number 75.

    I remember Ablett's playing exploits well. He had a contemporary namesake in Aussie Rules Football who scored record amounts of goals, but made the front pages too often. This guy was the total opposite to the 'real' Gary Abblett, whom I hardly recall getting booked. The tributes also confirm he was a brilliant all-round footballer, I just don't understand why he never featured for England. Was he too understated?
    Having lost a sister to a similar condition, I can relate to how hard this must be for his family and friends, but also to how terribly the poor man must have suffered.
    Hopefully his death will raise awareness of debilitating conditions like lymphoma and leukemia.

  • Comment number 76.

    My recollection of Gary's Liverpool days, is of a player who's status sometimes suffered because of obvious comparisons to great Liverpool defenders of the then recent past.

    Whether those recollections are accurate or not, I can say one thing with certainty, there havn't been many periods over the last twenty years, when the Liverpool faithful would not have been happy to see the late Eighties version of Gary in their squad.

    R.I.P. Gary. Very sad.

  • Comment number 77.

    Farewell Gary. Wishing strength and courage to all his loved ones.

    Dr. Cajetan Coelho

  • Comment number 78.

    @70 MGUK82 - Once again, the assumption is reached Speed was suffering from a mental health problem, of which no evidence or confirmation has been given. In addition, he took his own life, an act that has left his family to deal with his decision without him having to deal with the consequences. If the rumour I heard is to be believed, and no doubt the truth will come out at some point in the future, then his actions are truly selfish and he cannot be mentioned in the same breath as people like Ablett. Ablett conducted himself with dignity and died through no fault of his own. Rest In Peace Gary.

  • Comment number 79.

    I don't know what rumour you have heard, if not depression then I don't have a clue what could have made Speed take his own life. In early 2010 I had a very good online friend die in his early 30s in completely mysterious circumstances and if that experience is anything to go by, we may never know for certain the reason's behind Speed's suicide, no matter what rumours we've heard.

    Still, RIP to two quality footballers of the 90s!

 

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