Football world pays rich tribute to Gary SpeedNovember 28th, 2011 - 9:15 pm ICT by IANS
London, Nov 28 (IANS) Tributes came pouring in from the world football fraternity as news of Welsh manager Gary Speed’s tragic death spread.
Speed was found dead in the garage of his plush 1.5 million-pound mansion in Huntington, Chester Sunday.
The suspected suicide at the family home on the outskirts of Chester, was reported to police just after 7 a.m. local time. The police said there were ‘no suspicious circumstances’ of Speed’s shocking death.
The former Leeds, Everton, Newcastle, Bolton and Sheffield United midfielder appeared happy and spoke of his future endeavours on BBC’s show called Football Focus, a day prior to his reported ’suicide’.
Former Welsh teammate Ryan Giggs was left stunned at his friend’s death.
“I am totally devastated. Gary Speed was one of the nicest men in football and someone I am honoured to call as a team-mate and a 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,” he was quoted as saying by Telegraph.
Manchester United striker Michael Owen, who went to the same school as Speed, was in complete disbelief.
“Everyone knew that Gary Speed was a gentleman. His footballing ability was without question but I would like to focus on him as a person. He lived in my area only 10 or 15 miles away. The whole mood of Cheshire when the news broke was utter shock and disbelief. Devastated.”
Wales team-mate Robbie Savage and very close friend was devastated by the 42-year old’s death. “The world has lost a great man in Gary Speed. I’m devastated. I spoke to him yesterday morning. Why? Why? I’ll miss him so much. He come to watch strictly Strictly Come Dancing three or four weeks ago and I high-fived him in the front row. He loved the show, he loved life, he loved his family. Devastated. My captain, my hero, my mate is gone and I can’t understand why.”
Liverpool and Welsh forward Craig Bellamy was so taken aback by the news that manager Kenny Dalglish decided not to play him for the crucial tie against Manchester City Sunday.
In a statement released by the Football Association of Wales, both chief executive Jonathan Ford and president Phil Pritchard paid tribute.
Ford said: “I, and all of the football family of Wales, are devastated by the news of Gary’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family at this difficult time.”
A statement from the Football Association said: “It is with great sadness that The FA has learned of the passing of Gary Speed. The thoughts of everybody at the FA are with his family and friends at this time.”
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