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Friends and colleagues mourn Speed

27 Nov 2011 14:16:57

Friends and colleagues mourn Speed

A host of friends, former team-mates and professional footballers have paid tribute to Gary Speed after the Wales manager was found dead at his home on Sunday morning.

The sporting world has reacted with shock and sadness at the news of the passing of the 42-year-old, who was beginning to forge a promising career as a manager after making over 700 appearances as a player.

Doncaster manager Dean Saunders, a former international team-mate of Speed, remarked on his dedication to his craft as a player, telling BBC Radio Five Live: "He was so fit - he was one of those players who would stay behind all day in training. I can't believe what's happened."

Newcastle defender Steven Taylor, who came into the first team at St James' Park when Speed was the side's senior professional, expressed his gratitude for the help the midfielder gave him at the club.

"It is a sad, sad day. I played with him when I came through the ranks," Taylor told Radio Five Live. "He helped me through, he was an absolute machine - the best professional in football."

Wales are in the same group as Scotland in qualifying Group A for the 2014 World Cup and Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan was left shocked by the news having met Speed just days ago.

"I am speechless at the news of Gary Speed's death," Regan said. "Craig Levein (Scotland boss) and I had lunch with him on Wednesday in Brussels. He was a talented young manager. So sad."

Robbie Savage, who played alongside Speed for Wales, said on his Twitter account that he was devastated by the news.

"The world has lost a great man in Gary Speed. I'm devastated spoke to him yesterday morning why! Why. Why. He come to watch strictly 3/4 weeks ago. I high fived him in the front row he loved the show, he loved life he loved his family. Devastated."


PA

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