Gary Speed: Ex-team-mate Matt Jones' Snowdon tribute run is 'icing on cake'
- 16 May 2012
- From the section Wales
An ex-Wales footballer who ran up and down Snowdon to raise funds in memory of the late Gary Speed has described it as his most satisfying challenge yet.
Matt Jones, who has run two marathons and three half-marathons in a few weeks, described Tuesday's 1,085m (3,560ft) Snowdon challenge as "unbelievable", yet "horrendous".
Jones braved rain and hail to complete the run in two hours.
He said having Speed's mother Carol there was the "icing on the cake".
A former team mate of Speed's, Jones is dedicating a year of fundraising to the memory of the former Wales manager, who died aged 42 last year.
Jones, whose football career was cut short by a back injury, ran with Snowdon runner Andi Jones, and completed the ascent in one hour and 16 minutes, with 44 minutes to get down.
Speed's mother Carol, and other relatives were there to spur him on during the 10-mile (16km) run.
He said: "The sense of achievement I have had out of all the challenges I have done...nothing compares to yesterday."
Jones said having Speed's mother there was the "icing on the cake" and "emotional to say the least".
He described the weather as "horrendous," adding: "We had everything from sun in the morning, to running through a snow cloud and hailstones.
"I was in my shorts and was passing walkers wrapped up so well you could only see the tips of their noses.
"But it was an unbelievable experience and a day I'll never forget. If you're going to do something, why not do it in extreme conditions?"
Jones, who played for Leeds United and Leicester City, has been fundraising as a way of helping the charities the former Wales manager supported.
He wants to raise more than £10,000 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and the John Hartson Foundation.
He is also raising cash for the Spinal Injuries Association.
Jones is planning a parachute jump, 24 hours on a cycling machine in a Swansea supermarket, two more half-marathons and a cycle ride from Llanelli to Newcastle.
The body of Speed, whose clubs included Leeds, Newcastle, Everton, Bolton and Sheffield United, was found hanged in the garage of his Chester home last November.
The coroner at his inquest said he could not be satisfied he had intended to kill himself, and returned a narrative verdict.