Welsh Football Manager Gary Speed has died age 42, confirms the Football Association of Wales.
Cheshire Police have confirmed the former Leeds, Everton and Newcastle player was found dead at 07:08 GMT at his home in Huntington, Chester. They said there were no suspicious circumstances. Some sources including the Daily Telegraph has stated Speed took his own life.
The shock among the football and sporting world is apparent, heightened further when Speed was seen on television less than 24 hours earlier on Saturday lunchtime on BBC’s Football Focus programme.
Former Wales team mate Ryan Giggs has said: “Words cannot begin to describe how sad I feel at hearing this awful news.”
The FAW said: “We extend our sympathies and condolences to the family… We ask that everyone respects the family’s privacy at this very sad time.”
Tributes have poured in through twitter also. Another former team mate Robbie Savage tweeted: “The world has lost a great man in Gary speed I’m devastated spoke to him yesterday morning why ! Why. Why !! I’ll miss him so much x
“He come to watch strictly 3/4 weeks ago I high fived him in the front row he loved the show ,he loved life he loved his family! Devastated”.
Today’s Premier League game between Swansea and Aston Villa nearly never went ahead. In the end it did with a minutes silence, which Villa keeper Shay Given (former Newcastle team mate) was visibly crying. The game ended in a 0-0 draw stalemate.
Gary Speed, who was awarded an MBE in the 2010 Birthday Honours, leaves a wife and two children.
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