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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tributes paid to Speed

Leeds have expressed their "deepest sadness" at the death of Wales manager Gary Speed.

Speed, who played at Elland Road between 1988-1996, was found dead on Sunday morning.

"We are stunned to learn this news. The club expresses its deepest sadness," said a Leeds spokesman.

"Gary was very well thought-of throughout the game. He was a very likeable and popular man. It's very difficult find words to describe how we're all feeling right now."

The 42-year-old's playing days ended at Sheffield United, Speed joining the Bramall Lane club on January 1, 2008. He enjoyed a role as first-team coach before being appointed as Kevin Blackwell's replacement as manager in August 2010.

However, his spell as boss was short-lived as he left south Yorkshire for the job of Wales manager in December 2010.

A statement from the League One club read: "Everybody at Sheffield United is extremely shocked and saddened to learn of the death of former player and manager Gary Speed. Thoughts are with Gary's family and friends at this distressing time."

In a statement released by the FAW, both chief executive Jonathan Ford and president Phil Pritchard paid tribute.

Ford said: "I, and all of the football family of Wales, am devastated by the news of Gary's passing. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family at this difficult time."

A statement from the Football Association said: "It is with great sadness that The FA has learned of the passing of Gary Speed. The thoughts of everybody at the FA are with his family and friends at this time."

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