Gary Speed Memorial Match: Wales Pay Tribute In Costa Rica Friendly (PICTURES)

Gary Speed

The Huffington Post UK   First Posted: 1/03/2012 08:44 Updated: 14/03/2012 17:19

Welsh football said goodbye to coach Gary Speed on Wednesday night in an emotional tribute to their ex-coach.

Costa Rica prevailed 1-0 at Cardiff City Stadium in Chris Coleman's first match in charge since his ex-teammate took his own life in November last year.

Coleman admitted that he is still grieving for Speed in his post-match press conference, as Wales struggled to rise to a poignant occasion.

The country's new manager thanked captain Craig Bellamy for his support ahead of the friendly.

"I wasn't looking forward to it," BBC Sport reported him saying after the defeat.

"Craig Bellamy texted me yesterday [Tuesday] and said let's have a cup of coffee so we got together and had a chat. He has known me a long time and he is basically telling me to pull my finger out because I've not been myself for two or three days."

Speed's mother and father, Carol and Roger, as well as his two sons, Ed and Tom, were present for the celebration of Speed's life. A host of Wales international greats, including Ryan Giggs, Mark Hughes and Ian Rush, were also in attendance at the memorial match.

Here's a gallery charting the evening's events in the Welsh capital:


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