Club Statement


Gary Speed MBE
8 September 1969 – 27 November 2011

Having been away from all radio, internet and cellphone contact this weekend (try it, you might like it), I was hugely shocked and saddened (as I’m sure many others were) to hear of the apparent suicide of Gary Speed – footballer, Wales manager and – more pertinently for me – ex-Sheffield United player and boss.

Here’s the statement from the United website:

Everyone at Sheffield United Football Club is shocked to hear of the death of former player, coach and manager Gary Speed.

Gary made his debut for the Blades on New Year’s Day 2008 in a 0-0 draw against Wolves. He retired as a player in the summer of 2009 but continued his career in the game by taking up a coaching role at Sheffield United.
Three games into the 2010/11 season Gary replaced Kevin Blackwell as manager before moving to manage the Wales national team in December 2010.

Sheffield United director Scott McCabe said: “This is devastating news. All the thoughts and prayers of the board of directors and staff at the club are with Gary’s family at this very sad time.”

Former playing colleague now player coach with the Blades, Chris Morgan: “I just cannot believe that Gary has died. He was extremely popular at Bramall Lane both as a player and in a managerial capacity with all the lads. His death is a very sad loss.”

All too often when someone young (Speed was just 42 years old) and well-known passes away, the grief athletes come out in droves and lament their death as if they were a saint. I’m usually rather more emotionless and rational, but in this instance, I find myself sad at the passing of a man who appeared throughout his career to be a genuine, honest and down-to-earth guy.

RIP Gary Speed.

3 thoughts on “Club Statement

  1. He was a true professional in every sense of the word, and I did feel pure emotion when I heard of his passing. The only other time I’ve been like that when a member of the sporting world died was when Sir Bobby Robson lost his battle with cancer. I will always remember him for his time at NUFC and all the great memories he helped. Just a shame the only trophy he won was the old League Championship at Leeds.

  2. Watched him a lot in that Leeds side during my student days in West Yorkshire. What a superb midfield they had at the time. This is a really stunning and tragic situation.

  3. Speed always appeared to be the consumate professional, something which enticed Everton to sign him as well (a long time ago now – late 90’s I think it was). I don’t recall all that much of his playing days, but I certainly recall him being one of the calmer players on the field, never getting into any trouble, someone who let the ball do the talking.

    It is strange that he chose to commit suicide. By all accounts he was happy, and there was no sign of any reason why he would consider this. But I suppose (as in most such cases) he was just adept at hiding his problems in public. It’s also possible, I suppose, that there was some issue (health related, or criminal) that we may find out about in time. I really do hope not though (especially not the criminal bit).

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