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Gary Speed Dies

November 27, 2011 by staff 

Gary Speed Dies, Gary Speed, who became Wales’ soccer coach just 11 months ago after playing for his country a record 85 times, has died. He was 42.

The Football Association of Wales announced Speed’s death Sunday without giving the cause. Police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Speed’s death.

Speed is survived by his wife and two children.

“We extend our sympathies and condolences to the family,” the FAW said in a statement. “We ask that everyone respects the family’s privacy at this very sad time.”

Speed, whose 85 caps is a Welsh record for an outfield player, had only become Wales coach in December in a move that had long been predicted by former teammates and commentators. Only goalkeeper Neville Southall, with 92 appearances, played more games for Wales.

Last year, Queen Elizabeth II gave Speed the Member of the British Empire award in her annual Birthday Honors list for his services to soccer.

“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,” Manchester United striker Michael Owen wrote on Twitter. “He has died aged 42. So sad. He lived local to me and we knew his family. He leaves behind 2 sons. Tragic.”

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