Tribute to Welsh manager Gary Speed

Huw Evans Photography Agency & WRU

The Waterfront is paying tribute to Wales manager Gary Speed, who was found dead at his home last month.

Huw Evans Photography Agency & WRU

 

 

Swansea University has a great history of current and former students going on to represent their country, and while Speed was not a student here, he had a great history of achievements at club and national level.

The 42-year-old was a member of the PFA team of the year in 1993 for his contributions to the Leeds United side.

He was the first player to make 500 Premier League appearances as he turned out for various clubs including Everton, Leeds United, Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers.

Although not as decorated as other players in his generation, Speed was a member of the Leeds side that won the league title in 1992.

In addition to this he was a proud Welsh man who represented his country at both under 21 and senior level with 85 caps for the full Welsh side – Wales’ most-capped outfield player.

Speed has always been a role model for aspiring young Welsh people, whether in a sporting capacity or not.

His death will come as a great loss to his profession, in which he is held in extremely high regard, but his influence will be felt for many years to
come.

Craig Hadley, Waterfront’s sports co-editor said: “The sheer number of tributes pouring in for Gary Speed shows you just how well liked he was.
“He was someone ever present in the top flight during my childhood.

“He was a true professional and an example to everyone who play the game.”

David Hendy, Waterfront’s sports co-editor said: “It is a very sad loss to the game.

“Speed was my childhood hero and seeing him eventually become Welsh manager was a brilliant acquisition for Wales.

“He had a difficult start to his time as manager of the national side however managed to do the impossible and gave the Welsh public hope of our national side being able to win games.

“I’m saddened by the fact he is no longer able to brighten up Welsh football, however this is my selfish side coming through, I’m more saddened
for his family and friends and hope they are all coping as well as possible. God bless Gary Speed.”

Swansea University’s atheltic union president, Dan Ryan-Lowes also paid tribute to Speed.

“It’s a massive loss to welsh sport, not only football but I think he was an inspiration to all welsh athletes,” he said.

“In the last year, Welsh sport has had a massive boom with the rugby World Cup and Gary Speed’s involvement in the Welsh football team.

“He seemed to reinstall some pride into the Welsh FA and with players like Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey long may that continue.”

Tributes have taken place throughout the football leagues as well as other sporting events such as the rugby union game between Wales and Australia.

A private funeral took place last week with his family and friends in attendance. A public memorial service will take place soon.

Nos Da Speedo.

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