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Family overwhelmed by tributes
Published : 28 Nov 2011 17:19:26
The family of Gary Speed said they were overwhelmed by the support they had received following the Wales manager's death on Sunday.
Speed's agent Hayden Evans - who was also the best man at Speed's wedding - on Monday afternoon spoke outside the family home in Cheshire, where his body was found on Sunday morning. Sources confirmed the 42-year-old Speed was found hanged.
Tributes have poured in for the former Wales, Leeds, Everton, Newcastle, Bolton and Sheffield United midfielder from across the sporting and political world, and Evans said: "Gary's family would sincerely like to thank all the people that have sent messages of condolence and tributes in what is a very difficult time."
He added: "We have been overwhelmed by the support and it really has helped. We would ask that the family are now given the respect of some privacy to just grieve on their own."
Cheshire Police said on Monday the inquest into Speed's death will be opened at Warrington Coroner's Court on Tuesday at 3pm.
The Football Association of Wales (FAW) have opened a book of condolence after being inundated with messages of support following Speed's death. 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 in Zurich 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."