Wales manager Speed found dead

 

Gary Speed, the manager of Wales’ national football team, has been found dead at his home. He was 42.

Cheshire Police confirmed he was found dead on the outskirts of Chester, where he lived, and said there were “no suspicious circumstances”. Sources confirmed the ex-footballer had taken his own life.

A police spokeswoman said: “At 7.08am today, Cheshire Police was informed of a sudden death at an address in Huntington, Chester.

“Officers went to the scene where a 42-year-old man was found dead. The next of kin have been informed and have confirmed the identity of the man as Gary Speed.

“There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death. The family have requested that they are left in peace to grieve at this difficult time.”

The Football Association of Wales also announced the news of Speed’s death on its website and expressed its condolences to his relatives.

It said in a statement: “The Football Association of Wales are sad to announce the death of the national team manager Gary Speed.

“We extend our sympathies and condolences to the family. We ask that everyone respects the family’s privacy at this very sad time.”

The former Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle and Bolton footballer was appointed manager of Wales in December 2010 after retiring as a player in May last year.

He took charge of Wales for the first time in February, with his last game as manager on November 12 when the team won 4-1 in a friendly against Norway.

Speed also appeared on BBC1’s Football Focus show yesterday afternoon, the broadcaster said.

Awarded the MBE in the 2010 Birthday Honours for his services to football, he leaves a wife and two children.

A family tribute will be released at a later date, police said.

There was a minute’s applause at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea as a mark of respect before today’s match between Swansea and Aston Villa.

Fans had been asked to “stand and remember Gary Speed with a minute’s silence” but instead burst into applause to pay their respects.