Gary Speed: Football Association of Wales announces memorial friendly

A Gary Speed memorial international friendly will be played when Wales host Costa Rica on 29 February, the Football Association of Wales has announced.

Speed, who was found hanged at his home in November  , made the first of his outfield record 85 Welsh caps in a friendly win over Costa Rica in 1990.

The Welsh FA has confirmed their first friendly since Wales boss Speed's death will be at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Dean Saunders scored the only goal on Speed's debut at Ninian Park.

And Speed, who was then a 20-year-old midfielder at Leeds United, replaced Glyn Hodges as a 76th-minute substitute in the friendly in May 1990.

So the visit of Costa Rica is expected to be an emotional first international fixture since Speed's shock death  on 27 November.

The FAW have revealed that 10% of all profits from the friendly will go to the chosen charities of Speed's family.

"This will be an opportunity to celebrate the life and achievements of a great servant to Welsh football both as a player and as a manager," said a Welsh FA statement.

Wales 1-0 Costa Rica 1990

May 20, 1990 at Ninian Park

  • Wales team: Neville Southall (c), Clayton Blackmore, Paul Bodin, Eric Young (Andy Melville, 70), Mark Aizlewood, Peter Nicholas, Jeff Hopkins, Barry Horne, Glyn Hodges (Gary Speed, 76), Mark Hughes (Malcolm Allen, 75), Dean Saunders
  • Goalscorer: Saunders (10)
  • Wales boss: Terry Yorath
  • Referee: Arturo Martino
  • Attendance: 5,977

Costa Rica, who are set to play Wales for a second time, drew 2-2 with world and European champions Spain in San Jose in November and are currently in 65th place in the Fifa world rankings.

Wales, who are ranked 48th in the world, hope to name a successor to Speed before the Cardiff fixture.

The Welsh FA has confirmed the process on how Wales' 13th full-time manager will be appointed as the FAW have charged a six-man managerial panel, led by president Phil Pritchard, to appoint Speed's replacement.

Raymond Verheijen was Speed's assistant manager and the Dutch coach wrote on Twitter that he thought the FAW should give Speed's backroom team the opportunity to continue his work.

And Wales star Gareth Bale has backed Verheijen and Osian Roberts  to remain part of Wales' management set-up following Speed's death.

The Tottenham Hotspur winger felt it would be "absolutely ridiculous" to make significant changes in the management team.

"I know personally most of the players want to keep it the same," Bale told BBC Sport.