Southall seeks Speed tribute game

International friendly to honour Wales manager would be fitting, says legendary goalkeeper

Neville Southall, Wales's most capped player, last night led the calls for a memorial match as a tribute to Gary Speed, who was found hanged on Sunday. The Football Association of Wales (FAW) will discuss the manner in which to honour the former Wales manager at a meeting on Thursday.

Sources at the FAW revealed that a game at the Millennium Stadium would be one of the options on the table and, to this end, they will be interested to hear the opinion of Southall. The goalkeeper is the only Welshman, with 92 caps, to play more times for his national side than Speed (with 85) and, having also played with him at Everton, Southall believes all the stops should be pulled out.

"I'd love to see them play a game in an international week against players from his former clubs," said Southall yesterday. "Get some of the Newcastle lads down, some from Everton, Bolton, Sheffield United and Leeds."

An alternative would be for Wales to play a friendly in his name, and with no game yet arranged for the next available slot in February, there is an obvious opportunity. Yet Southall stressed the match, and the teams involved, should be high profile. "I'd like to see a proper footballing power turn up," said Southall. "And then, if they did put out a proper Wales team, it would be a proper event. It would be a sombre day but it would be a success. You have to remember everything he did up to the age of 42."

Added Southall: "That's what I'd like to see: to pack the Millennium so everyone can pay their respects. Also, it would be nice if they could name the Wales player-of-the-year award after him and a stand as well."

A minute's respect will be held at each of the Carling Cup quarter-finals tonight and tomorrow. The tributes will carry on into the weekend with Everton planning a minute's applause before Sunday's game against Stoke City. Scarves, flowers, flags and shirts have already been left at the Park End in memory of the former club captain and the club assured fans that "the gates will remain closed until further notice so that supporters can continue to visit Goodison Park to pay their respects and leave their own personal messages".

Yesterday, the tributes continued to pour in, including from Arsène Wenger, Gareth Bale and Sepp Blatter. The Arsenal manager labelled Speed "a great player" and made reference to his managerial potential. The FAW received written condolences from Blatter, the Fifa president, as well as from Michel Platini, his Uefa counterpart. The Welsh flag was flying at half-mast outside Fifa House in Zurich.

At the FAW's offices, a book of condolence was opened after the association was inundated with messages of support. Fans have been welcomed to the Cardiff HQ to leave their tributes and an area has also been put aside for the many floral tributes.

"My phone hasn't stopped with messages from everyone involved or not involved. It has touched everybody," said Jonathan Ford, the FAW chief executive, at a briefing at the team hotel in Cardiff. "Our door is open and we are trying to do everything we can at this terrible, terrible time. There will be, I am sure, a fitting tribute at some point in time but for now we are just looking at the short term and anything we can do for [Speed's widow] Louise and his two sons."

The inquest into Speed's death will be opened at Warrington Coroner's Court today at 3pm.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks