Rest in Peace, Gary Speed - 1969-2011
It was a moment of stunning sadness to listen to BBC Radio 5 Live Sport at around 12:20pm today when the excellent presenter, Ian Payne, interrupted a conversation on Saturday's premier league action with anguish and shock in his voice to announce that he had received terrible news. He then said he would go to the Liberty Stadium where commentator Nigel Adderley would reveal the news.
With a sombre tone Nigel Adderley revealed the unacceptable: Gary Speed, football manager of Wales, had been found dead in his home earlier this morning and police say his death is not being considered as suspicious.
All football supporters will have been as stunned as Ian Payne when hearing this despairing news. Gary Speed was the ultimate professional Premier League footballer and he was beginning to forge a successful career as Wales football manager. He conducted himself with immense dignity and integrity on and off the pitch. He was a footballer whom no supporter or commentator ever had a negative word for because he exemplified strong commitment, talent and sportsmanship. Everyone had respect for the high level character that he brought to the game of football, and to life.
On behalf of everyone at EFT we send our deepest condolences and sympathies to the family and friends of Gary Speed. His towering legacy will long outlast this extremely sad day.