The sad news of Gary Speed’s premature departure has shocked the football world, while the issues surrounding his death are unknown the loss certainly comes out of the blue. Having played for top sides in the Premiership during his playing career, including Leeds, Everton and Newcastle to name a few.
The 42-year-old was discovered hanged on Sunday morning at his home in Chester, the shocking part of the sadness surrounding his death is that a day before he was seen appearing on live television talking to other football figures.
Police have stated that there was nothing ‘suspicious’ about his death, this prompted many sportsman, not just footballers, to speak of one of the nicest men in football. Friends and family are in disbelief over why the Wales football manager would end his own life when ‘he had everything to live for’.
Sir Ian Botham, arguably the best all-rounder cricket has seen, said that the world of football had lost a ‘great ambassador’ and even he was trying to come to terms with loss of his friend.
Speed to charge of Wales for the first time in February, he was awarded an MBE in 2010, and his last game as manager was in the 4-1 win over Norway. He made his last public appearance on BBC1’s Football Focus show on Saturday.
A minute silence was scheduled for Speed when Swansea City took on Aston Villa at Swansea’s Liberty Stadium after his death was revealed, but fans had their own idea and instead burst out into a spontaneous applause during the minutes silence.
His death certainly shook up the game as Speed had always appeared happy and full of life. It also highlights the problems many people are able to hide behind a smile, suffering through without talking about what is bothering them until it boils over.
Premiership footballers were clearly moved by the death, Liverpool’s Craig Bellamy was allowed to return home before the match started and Aston Villa’s Shay Given and former Newcastle team mate of Gary Speed was in tears as the game kicked off.
677 senior appearances
“He was a smashing lad, he was very well respected and there are a lot of people in football saddened by what has happened. But at this time the most important people are his wife and kids and they must be absolutely devasted,” said Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish.
Born on 8th September 1969 he made a total of 677 senior appearances sticking the ball in the net on a 103 occasions, he received 85 caps by Wales and he began a promising managerial career for the international team.