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R.I.P. Gary Speed

November 30, 2011

Soccer lost an amazing man this past weekend in Wales National Team manager Gary Speed.  The  personal circumstances that Gary was dealing with may never be known.  What is known is that the game of soccer will miss him enormously. In a time where footballers are more likely to be in the news for all the wrong reasons, Speed maintained a sense of dignity and respect that for those who  looked up to him, his club, and country. This event has shocked the world showing the amount of real personal connections that Gary had made with former teammates, players, and managers. Gary had a phenomenal career that most current premier league players could only dream of. There are not many things that Mr. Speed did not accomplish in his playing career, and was keen on building a legacy as a manager as well. Gary was captain at every club he played at, helping Leeds United win the League Title in the final season in the Old League Division One before the top flight became the Premier League.

The amount of support that has been displayed for the Welshman is nationwide and well deserved. Craig Bellamy, a teammate of Speed for Newcastle and the Welsh national team withdrew himself from the Liverpool squad before their game against Manchester City this past Sunday. Leeds United dedicated their 4-nil victory over Nottingham Forest to Speed with an 11 minute song.

The future looked bright for Speed who was seen as taking the underachieving Welsh national team in a positive direction, mentoring and giving chances to young youth players and honing two great midfielders in Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey.  Speed was just beginning to work on his legacy as a manager but his legacy as a player and as more importantly as a great human being.

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