Gary Speed Obituary

November 27, 2011 by staff 

Gary Speed Obituary, The Wales football manager Gary Speed, who has died at the age of 42 after apparently taking his own life, was an outstanding footballer and promised to be equally successful in this new phase of his career. But while he had been in charge of the national side for only 10 games, his playing career was long and distinguished.

A skilful, athletic and versatile left-sided attacking midfield player, Speed was also an exceptional header of the ball and had a healthy knack of scoring goals. He represented Wales and four different Premier League clubs – Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers – during a 22-year club career.

His longevity at the top level of the game was underpinned by a remarkable dedication to his profession. One of the first British players fully to embrace new ideas about fitness and nutrition, his success can be judged by the fact that only two players, Ryan Giggs and David James, have surpassed his total of 535 Premier League appearances, while he holds the record for the most appearances for Wales by an outfield player – 85 – made over 14 years.

He won the only major honour of his career, the Football League championship, early in his career, with Leeds in 1991-92, the last season before the formation of the Premier League, but appeared in two FA Cup finals with Newcastle, and acquired a reputation as a leader and model for other players. He captained most of the teams he played for at some time, including Everton, the club he supported as a boy. He was appointed MBE in 2010 for his services to football.

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