Former Leeds United midfielder Gary Speed has sadly died at the age of 42.
Speed, a product of the Leeds United youth set up, was part of the side that won the Second Division title in 1990 and the League Championship two years later.
He was part of one of the finest quartets ever to play across the Leeds midfield, alongside David Batty, Gordon Strachan and Gary McAllister.
Speed went on to play 312 times for Leeds, scoring 57 times in an eight-year spell at Elland Road.
Has somebody of a similar age to Speed, it was fantastic to see him burst onto the scene at Elland Road during the promotion season of 1989/90.
His goal in the 4-0 win over Sheffield United in April of that season will always live in my memory.
He scored some memorable goals in a Leeds shirt and he had a fine left foot and a fantastic engine.
I was never lucky enough to meet him, but when you saw him play and give interviews on the TV and Radio, he looked and sounded a very well spoken, pleasant man who always played the game in the right manner.
He went on to play for Everton, Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield United before retiring from playing in 2009.
Speed was the first player to reach 500 games in the Premier League and he won 85 caps for Wales.
He went into management in 2010 with Sheffield United before taking over the Welsh national job in December.
Things were beginning to look good for the Welsh national side. They had won five of their last six games and beat Norway 4-1 in his last game in charge just two weeks ago.
It is not only a sad day for all family, former team mates, managers and clubs that Speed played for but the tributes that have been paid today to him, shows just how much he was appreciated in the game.
Thank you for many special memories. Legend is often used far too easily to describe players but Speed is one who fits into that category.
You will be sadly missed and may you now rest in peace.
The Vital Leeds board has been paying it`s respects to Speed today. Here are some of the comments left by fans of both Leeds and football supporters.
DesLondon – I find this shocking. It gave me a huge shiver down my spine
Iwa – Cannot believe Gary has passed away only 42 years old. God bless Gary’s Family. R.I.P Gary bless you…
Syrup (Millwall supporter) – My condolences to his family and Leeds United supporters. I was watching him on the BBC yesterday. Such a tragic waste of a fine person and footballer. He must have been very troubled! What a shame.
1972Glory – Cannot believe it. Completely shocked. My heart goes out to the family.
Dublin White – Shocking news – Gary Speed 57 goals for Leeds United – debut at 19 year old – was part of probably the finest midfield quartets at Leeds or any team. Gary Speed – Gary McAllister – David Batty – Gordon Strachen. I am shocked and saddened at this news – as are all football supporters.
Gary – thank you – you will always be remembered with affection – may you rest in peace.
Yorkshirepride1 – Stunned and shocked
Ratpack (Norwich City supporter) – I just cannot get over this news. Legend is so easily used these days, but I believe Gary Speed was a legend. A total great player and was starting to turn wales into a force as a manager.
Thoughts to all his family and thoughts to Leeds United on this terrible day. Words can`t express how I just cannot get over this news. Legend is so easily used these days, but I believe Gary Speed was a legend. A total great player and was starting to turn wales into a force as a manager.
Thoughts to all his family and thoughts to Leeds United on this terrible day. Words can`t express how I feel to be honest.
Herringthorpe– (Rotherham United supporter) – Such a shock. I feel for his family. Such a waste of a young life. RIP Gary
Stewpot01 – Devastated. He used to come into the Stansfield arms in Apperly Bridge. He was one of the nicest, unassuming men you could wish to meet. God bless Gary, Leeds will never forget you.X
brighouseWhite – I had the pleasure of meeting Gary a couple of times and as others have eluded to, he was such a genuinely lovely guy. My favourite player growing up as well supporting the Whites. RIP Gary and condolences to his family.
Durhamwhite – Just horrendous news, truly shocked by this. Deepest sympathies to his family.
Rotherham White – Thanks for all the memories. Goodbye, God Speed R.I.P.
Simonfire1 – A great player wherever he went and a sad loss to every team he’s ever been associated with – will not soon be forgotten at Elland Rd – Sleep well fella
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