Gary Speed Dead: Mystery Continues Surrounding Welsh Manager's Death

Gary Speed

First Posted: 28/11/11 16:29 Updated: 28/11/11 17:00   PA

Welsh football bosses have admitted the shock and mystery surrounding Gary Speed's sudden death will continue for years to come.

The 42-year-old father-of-two was found hanged at his home on Sunday morning, just a day after appearing on live television and chatting to fellow footballing figures, who expressed shock and disbelief.

Tributes to the former Leeds United, Everton and Newcastle United midfielder poured in from a host of public figures, including Prime Minister David Cameron and First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones.

Speaking to the press in Jakarta where he is touring with LA Galaxy, David Beckham said: "I think he was an amazing, talented player, a player that had such a glittering career and just began a great career in management as well."

"On behalf of myself, the players, the manager and everybody at the Galaxy we'd like to send our love and thoughts to his wife, his children and his family. It is a sad time to lose a man like this."

Cheshire Police confirmed that Speed's body was discovered at the property in Huntington, on the outskirts of Chester, and said there were "no suspicious circumstances". Sources said he was found hanged.

A police spokeswoman said: "Officers went to the scene where a 42-year-old man was found dead. The next of kin have been informed and have confirmed the identity of the man as Gary Speed."

Bosses from the Football Association of Wales (FAW) said they were still struggling to come to terms with the events of the past 24 hours.

During a press conference at the St David's Hotel in Cardiff Bay, FAW chief executive Jonathan Ford said it felt odd to be holding a press conference without the Wales manager next to his side.

Choking back the tears, he said: "It is surreal. I am so emotionally cut up. We can't fathom it, we can't understand it and I think we will be guessing for many years to come. We are all devastated. At the FAW office, we huddled and cried together today."

The FAW has since opened a book of condolences at his offices in Cardiff allowing fans to express their feelings about Speed's death. Supporters have also left scarves, football shirts and flowers across several football stadiums - including Leeds United's Elland Road, Newcastle United's St James' Park as well as The Millennium Stadium and Cardiff City Stadium, where Wales played their home games.

Asked what his thoughts were on Speed's death during a visit to Manchester, Prime Minister David Cameron said: "I think it has been incredibly moving. I was watching Match Of The Day last night and watching people, crowds, absolutely silent and footballers revering his memory. I think it has been extremely moving. Obviously here in the north, where he played for so many of the iconic teams, I know he meant an enormous amount to people and people feel very, very sad on his behalf and on his family's behalf."

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Filed by Paul Vale  |