Book of condolence opened for Speed

28 November 2011 02:46

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) have opened a book of condolence after being inundated with messages of support following the death of manager Gary Speed.

Speed died at his home on the outskirts of Chester on Sunday morning, with sources confirming he was found hanged, and Cheshire Police have since confirmed that the inquest into his death will be opened at Warrington Coroner's Court on Tuesday at 3pm.

Tributes have poured in for the former Leeds, Everton, Newcastle, Bolton and Sheffield United midfielder and fans will be able to go to the FAW headquarters in Cardiff to leave their tributes.

FAW chief executive Jonathan Ford said that the organisation had received messages from UEFA and FIFA, with the Welsh flag at FIFA House flying at half mast.

A visibly emotional Ford said: "We have had hundreds of messages, my phone hasn't stopped with messages from everyone involved or not involved. It has touched everybody.

"We have had messages from family, friends have called, professional people have called, and they have all been heartfelt messages from people who may only have met Gary a couple of times, which showed the mark of the man.

"He was such a great person and he is such a loss. We have a book of condolence available at FAW headquarters and there is an area set aside for fans to leave flowers. Our door is open and we are trying to do everything we can at this terrible, terrible time.

"We have received letters from UEFA and FIFA and our letter from Sepp Blatter this morning said that the Welsh flag is flying at half mast at FIFA House."

In his letter to FAW president Phil Pritchard, FIFA president Blatter wrote: "Gary Speed was a hugely talented player and a great servant for both club and country who will be greatly missed.

"He will always be remembered as a model professional and a fantastic ambassador for the game. Having attended the draw for 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil qualification, it was clear to all there that he was a man who exuded enthusiasm and passion for the game."

Source: PA

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