Wales football manager Gary Speed has died, aged 42

 
Wales manager Gary Speed shouts out instuctions during the 4-1 friendly win over Norway Speed said he was satisfied with his first 10 games in charge of Wales

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Wales football manager Gary Speed has died at the age of 42.

Sources have said Speed, the national manager for nearly a year, was found hanged.

Cheshire Police confirmed he was found dead at 07:08 GMT at his home in Huntington, Chester. They said there were no suspicious circumstances.

Former Wales team mate Ryan Giggs said: "Words cannot begin to describe how sad I feel at hearing this awful news."

Start Quote

"The world has lost a great man in Gary speed I'm devastated spoke to him yesterday morning why ! Why. Why !! I'll miss him so much x”

End Quote Robbie Savage Former team mate, on Twitter

He said: "Our thoughts are with his family at what must be a very difficult time for them."

The FAW said: "We extend our sympathies and condolences to the family.

"We ask that everyone respects the family's privacy at this very sad time."

The FAW added: "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."

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

Phil Pritchard, FAW president, said they would do "whatever we can" to help Speed's family.

In a statement, Cheshire Police said: "At 7.08am on Sunday 27th November Cheshire Police was informed of a sudden death at an address in Huntington in Chester.

Gary Speed of Newcastle United on the ball during the UEFA Cup third round first leg match against Roma at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on 25 November, 1999. Speed signed for Newcastle for £5.5m in 1998

"Officers went to the scene where a 42-year-old man was found dead.

"The next of kin have been informed and have confirmed the identity of the man as Gary Speed.

85 caps

"There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death and the family have requested that they are left in peace to grieve at this difficult time."

Police said a family tribute will be issued later.

Speed had appeared on BBC1's Football Focus show on Saturday afternoon, just hours before his death.

Footballers, celebrities and politicians began issuing tributes within minutes of the news.

Former Wales team mate, Robbie Savage, Tweeted: "The world has lost a great man in Gary speed I'm devastated spoke to him yesterday morning why ! Why. Why !! I'll miss him so much x

"He come to watch strictly 3/4 weeks ago I high fived him in the front row he loved the show ,he loved life he loved his family ! Devastated".

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 team-mate and friend.

"Words cannot begin to describe how sad I feel at hearing this awful news. It goes without saying my thoughts are with his family at this tremendously sad time."

First Minister Carwyn Jones said: "I'm deeply saddened to hear about the death of Gary Speed.

"This is devastating news and our thoughts are with his family at what must be a very difficult time for them."

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."

Andrew RT Davies, Welsh Conservatives leader, said: "Gary Speed was tremendously gifted and I - along with millions of others - will always remember him as a legend in the game of football."

'Never be forgotten'

Welsh Liberal Democrats leader, Kirsty Williams, said: "It is a terrible, terrible shock. A tragedy for the Speed family and a tragedy for Welsh football."

Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones said the "whole nation is in shock", adding: "He will never be forgotten."

At the Liberty Stadium in Swansea - where the home side were playing Aston Villa a minute's silence followed by a minute's applause was held.

Speed, born in Mancot, Flintshire, took over the Wales job in December 2010, and earlier this month, said the side's rapid improvement had exceeded all expectations.

A 4-1 friendly win over Norway represented a third successive win for Wales, and Speed's fifth in 10 games as manager.

At the time, he said: "We've progressed further than I'd have thought in this space of time but we've still got a lot of work to do."

'Stunned and saddened'

Speed won 85 caps for his country during a 14-year international career.

He was given the top job in Welsh football despite only having four months managerial experience.

Speed began his playing career at Leeds United after coming through the trainee ranks, and was part of the side that won the last Football League title in 1992, before the introduction of the Premier League.

Swansea crowd pay tribute to Gary Speed

A Leeds spokesman said the club was "stunned and saddened" by the news.

He was handed his Wales debut as a 20-year-old in the 1-0 friendly win over Costa Rica in May 1990.

He left Leeds in 1996 after 312 appearances to join Everton - who he went on to captain - in a £3.5m move.

Seven goals

Newcastle followed, in a £5.5m switch in 1998. During his six years with the Magpies, he suffered two FA Cup final defeats, but enjoyed a taste of Champions League football.

He then spent four years with Bolton Wanderers after agreeing a £750,000 move.

Speed became the first player to reach 500 Premier League appearances.

He retired from international duty in 2004, having scored seven goals and captaining his country 44 times.

Speed's final appearance came in 3-2 World Cup qualifying defeat by Poland in October 2004.

His tally of 85 caps is a record for an outfield player.

 

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 287.

    Wow, @ 271.

    Using this tragic news to have a pop at Alex Ferguson. That is low, so so low. Have some respect. Some people and their blinding football tribalism, shocking. Disgusting really.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 286.

    Absolutely gitted. As a Leeds fan Speed was a hero of mine as a kid, one of the best Midfielders ever to play for Leeds, but a real ambassador to the game as well. Gone far too soon. RIP Gary, MOT.

  • rate this
    +15

    Comment number 285.

    Absolutely terrible news, a great player for my team Newcastle and a great player and manager for Wales, as well as being a great ambassador for the sport. My thoughts are with his family in this difficult time.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 284.

    Can't believe this. Didn't believe my girlfriend when she asked who Gary Speed was because he was dead.

    A true great of the English game, he did an amazing job for Wales and my thoughts are with his family and friends.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 283.

    Such sad, tragic news.

    A giant of a man, universally respected and admired throughout the football world. Very rare qualities indeed.

    Adored by the Leeds faithfull and a true hero to all at Elland Road. Likewise at Newcastle, Everton and Wales.

    Sincerest condolences to his friends, colleagues and especially his family.

    Rest in Peace.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 282.

    Gary Speed always came across as such a role model in the world of football,such a real shock.

    As a Man Utd fan I'm sure all other football supporters will agree this such a sad lost. My sincere condolences to his family and all who knew Gary.

    Also just heard the fans applause for for the Swansea match on Radio 5, very moving.

    Rest In Peace Sir.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 281.

    A GREAT PLAYER WILL BE MISSED BY ALL TRUE LEEDS FANS HE WAS ONE OF THE GREATS WALES HAVE LOST A GREAT MAN HE GAVE SO MUCH TO MANY PEOPLE RIP GARY

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 280.

    No doubt there will be comments saying that suicide is a selfish act, but unless you fully understand all the reasons, pressures and causes of such despair, it is pointless to judge , or to condemn . RIP.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 279.

    To the BBC: I think you should change or disable the "From other news sites" section for this article. "Man with big feet beds 30 women", "Man with UK's biggest feet sleeps with 30 women" and even "England up to 5th in world rankings" aren't really headlines I want to be looking at below such a shocking and tragic story.
    ------------
    I agree. Glad to see it's happened now.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 278.

    Absolutely shocked. He was a great player for Leeds. A model professional who seemed well respected by all fans. I couldn't believe my ears when I heard the news on R5live, even more so now that it appears to be suicide. Absolutely tragic for both him and his family. My sincerest condolences.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 277.

    263
    I Just did. Can you read? Why don't you? Respect oh' my wife is English and my post was her idea.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 276.

    so sorry to hear of the sad news on our team manerger GARY SPEED,he will be missed by all is fans friends a well respected man in the game,god be with is wife and two children and friends WALES will miss is loyalty and his love for football. god be with his family.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 275.

    Shocking news, sad news, thoughts and prayers with his wife and sons today.
    I trust that his young proteges in the Wales squad will be looked after by their clubs this week. They are so young and obviously loved the man so much it will be hard for them.
    Too soon.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 274.

    Shocked. Awful news. RIP Gary Speed.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 273.

    This is really, really sad news. My thoughts go out to his family and friends. :-(

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 272.

    I'm sorry but as sad as the news is about Gary Speed, it's his kids I feel for, how do they cope for the rest of their lives knowing that their Dad was taken from them by his own hands.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 271.

    absolutely stunned. this comes a day after Sir Alex Ferguson called the penalty decision against his team a 'travesty'. No Sir Alex the death of a true football legend is a real travesty. R.I.P Gary Speed

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 270.

    I can't believe it, Gary Speed still had everything to live for. He was doing a great job at Wales and was looking every bit a world class manager. Great lose to football, his friends and of cause, his family.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 269.

    263- Swansea were given the option to postpone the game, apparently, but they elected to go ahead with it.

    RIP Gary- a manager I always respected, who knew what he was talking about, and seemed like a true gentleman.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 268.

    Totally stunned and saddened by the news. I remember seeing him play as a youngster at Leeds where he went on to be part of our best midfield since the "glory years" of the 70's, alongside McAllister, Batty & Strachan.
    So sorry for his family to lose him at such a young age.

    RIP Speedo.
    MOT

 

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