Premier League Overshadowed By Gary Speed’s Death
Action in the Barclays Premier League was overshadowed this weekend by the tragic passing of Wales manager Gary Speed, who was discovered dead in his home on Sunday morning.
An inspirational figure in football both on the pitch and off it, Speed was the first player to make 500 Premier League appearances and had shown great managerial promise in charge of his national team.
The shocking news was greeted with a minute’s silence at the Liberty Stadium – home of Swansea, the Premier League’s first ever Welsh side – though this soon turned into spontaneous applause in an emotional tribute.
Visiting goalkeeper Shay Given – a longstanding teammate of Speed’s from his time at Newcastle – was inconsolable at the start of the match having heard the news just 15 minutes prior to kick-off and shed further tears at the interval.
All players on the pitch sported black armbands in tribute to Speed, a show of solidarity that was repeated later in Liverpool’s home game against Manchester City, and today has seen tributes from fellow professionals and fans pour in for the player.
Welsh teammate Robbie Savage was among the players to send their condolences to Speed’s family, saying: “I idolised him, he was one of my heroes in life, he’s been there for me, someone I spoke to every week. He’s got a great family and has left behind two beautiful, beautiful boys. It’s just so sad.”