Gary Speed: Wales Manager Confirmed Dead By Welsh FA

Wales Manager Gary Speed Confirmed Dead

Gary Speed, the manager of Wales, has died aged 42. He was found hanged at his home in Chester on Sunday morning.

The news was confirmed in a statement by the Football Association of Wales.

The statement read: "We extend our sympathies and condolences to the family. We ask that everyone respects the family's privacy at this very sad time."

A spokesman for Cheshire Police said: "At 7.08am this morning, sunday 27 November, police were informed of an incident at Aldford Road, Huntington.

"Officers went to the scene where a 42-year-old man was found dead. There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death and next of kin have been informed."

Speaking to Sky News, shadow Welsh Secretary Peter Hain called the news “unbelievable”.

“It’s hard to comprehend,” he said. “An outstanding player himself who just got into his stride as a manager. Welsh football was really looking up under him. It is tragic for his family and welsh football.”

The former Leeds, Newcastle, Everton and Bolton player won 85 international caps. He took the Wales job in December last year, having starting his managerial career with Sheffield United.

As a player, Speed won the league championship with Leeds in 1992 and was twice runner-up in the FA Cup with Newcastle. He leaves a wife and two children.

A minute's silence was held at the game between Swansea and Aston Villa. Before the silence, both sets of fans sang "there's only on Gary Speed". Shay Given, the Aston Villa goalkeeper and close friend of Speed, reportedly started the game with tears streaming down his face.

Following the news, tributes from the world of football poured into Twitter:

On his former colleague, ex-Wales boss Mark Hughes said: "I'm devastated. He was a privilege to work alongside and call a friend."

Speed’s former manager Howard Wilkinson, said: "I just find it unbelievable. I cannot start to try to understand what his family are going through."

Former team-mate and current Doncaster manager Dean Saunders said: "I just can't believe it. I spoke to him last week. We roomed together all of our careers with Wales. I just can't get my head around it. It's incredible."

"He was so fit - he was one of those players who would stay behind all day in training. I can't believe what's happened," Saunders added.

Another Wales team-mate Robbie Savage told the BBC: "I am devastated. I spoke to Gary yesterday morning and he was fine."

Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish said the news "made his blood run cold", while Newcastle defender Steven Taylor praised Speed for helping him through the ranks at Newcastle.

"It is a sad, sad day," said Taylor. "I played with him when I came through the ranks. He helped me through, he was an absolute machine - the best professional in football."

A tribute to Gary Speed, showing some of the best goals of his career, has appeared on YouTube:


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