Family, friends and fans join in tribute to Gary Speed

A ceremony at Leeds United's ground and a record by Stereophonics frontman honour the Wales manager

The family of the late Wales manager Gary Speed watched as fans, friends and admirers paid their respects to the footballer. His widow, Louise, 40, and sons Edward, 14 and Thomas, 13, were in the stands at Leeds United's Elland Road ground yesterday as a minute's applause was given in his memory.

Tributes came from beyond the sporting world over the weekend. Kelly Jones (pictured right), singer-songwriter of the Stereophonics, showed his appreciation by recording an acoustic version of a popular Welsh football terraces song to honour Speed's career. The Frankie Valli classic "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" was aired on Friday night on BBC Wales. It became an anthem of Welsh football fans after it was used for the 1994 World Cup qualifying campaign during Speed's playing career.

The 42-year-old former Leeds United, Everton and Newcastle United midfielder was found hanged at his Cheshire home by his wife a week ago. Former Leeds team-mates Gordon Strachan, Gary McAllister and David Batty laid a wreath on the Leeds pitch before yesterday's game against Millwall. The team wore black armbands with "Speed 11" – his old number.

Before the match, the Leeds manager, Simon Grayson, wrote on the club's website: "This is the place where Gary started his career, and he played many games here, not just in senior football, but for the reserves and the juniors as well. It's going to be a very, very poignant day."

Outside the stand, hundreds of fans gathered by the shrine that has built up in the past seven days, covered in shirts, scarves and hand-written messages of condolence. A Leeds fan, Stuart Wright, said yesterday: "It's just so sad. Everyone wants to be here and pay tribute to a true gentleman of the game."

Mr Speed's widow inspected the masses of tributes to her husband. Accompanied by her relatives, she spent about 15 minutes looking at the thousands of scarves, shirts and photographs fans had left.

A minute's tribute was held at every Premiership fixture yesterday, including at St James' Park, where Newcastle fans led the applause before kick-off. There was also silence, a mark of respect, before the Wales-Australia rugby game in Cardiff.

Last week, politicians also acknowledged Speed's death. A minute's silence was held at the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff, and at Westminster, the Prime Minister offered a message of support: "I know he meant an enormous amount to people, and people feel very, very sad on his behalf and on his family's behalf."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the world's leading suppliers and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Multiple Apprentices Required

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...

Sauce Recruitment: HR Manager

£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...

Ashdown Group: Interim HR Manager - 3 Month FTC - Henley-on-Thames

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee