Sad news to report from across the pond. Wales Manager Gary Speed dies at 42 of an apparent suicide. He was found hanging in his Cheshire home. The soccer world is in a state of shock.
In a statement released to CNN today, Cheshire police said:
“The police were called to a residence in Huntingdon in Chester at 7.08 a.m where a body of a 42-year-old was found. The identity was confirmed to be that of Gary Speed. There were no suspicious circumstances.”
Speed had made 85 appearances for Wales and was instrumental in leading Leeds United to the 1992 Football League First Division championship title. His longtime career included playing for Everton (1996-1998), Newcastle United (1998-2004), Bolton Wanderers 2004-2008) and Sheffield United (2008-2010). He was a part of the Wales National team from 1990-2004. He retired from play in 2010. That same year he was named Shefiield United’s manager. In December, he took over as the Welsh National Team Manager after John Toshack left in September 2010.
The Football Association of Wales released the following statement on their website:
“The Football Association of Wales are sad to announce the death of the national team manager Gary Speed. We extend our sympathies and condolences to the family. We ask that everyone respects the family’s privacy at this very sad time.”
Condolences have poured in via Twitter, with many still reeling from the news that he had died. Robbie Savage, a former Welsh International, tweeted, “The world has lost a great man in Gary Speed, I’m devastated. He was upbeat on phone yesterday we were laughing together, talking football and dancing, he was a great teammate and a great friend.” Michael Owen tweeted, “Just cannot believe the news regarding Gary Speed. We waved at each other a couple of days ago dropping our kids off at school. I’m numb. He has died aged 42. So sad. He lived local to me and we knew his family. He leaves behind 2 sons. Tragic.”
It is truly a tragedy. Speed leaves behind his wife Louise, whom he married in 1996, and two sons. Our thoughts and prayers to his family and friends during this difficult time.
Photos: www.wenn.com/Vince Maher/Steve Searle