The suicide death of Wales manager Gary Speed has rocked the sporting world, leading prominent sports figures and celebrities to take to Twitter to pay tributes and offer their condolences.
Authorities say Speed, 42, was found dead in his home on Sunday morning after completing suicide. A spokeswoman for Cheshire Police said they were notified of a sudden death case around 7:08 a.m. on Sunday 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, the spokeswoman said. There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death. The family have requested that they are left in peace to grieve at this difficult time. A family tribute will be released at a later date but not today.
At the news of Speed's death, Robbie Savage, who played alongside the dead manager for the Wales nation side, took to Twitter to offer his tribute.
The world has lost a great man in Gary Speed I'm devastated spoke to him yesterday morning why. Why? Why? I'll miss him so much x Savage tweeted.
He come to watch strictly 3/4 weeks ago I high fived him in the front row he loved the show ,he loved life he loved his family ! Devastated, Savage continued. He was upbeat on phone yesterday we were laughing together , talking football and dancing he was a great teammate and a great friend #RIP.
Both chief executive Jonathan Ford and president Phil Pritchard of the Football Association of Wales paid tribute.
I, and all of the football family of Wales, am devastated by the news of Gary's passing, Ford said, as reported by ESPN. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family at this difficult time.''
I am completely shocked by this terrible news and my thoughts are with his family, Pritchard said. We will do whatever we can as an association to help them in this difficult time.''
Speed leaves behind a wife and two children.
We are stunned to learn this news, a Leeds United spokesman said. The club expresses its deepest sadness. 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.''
Here are other Twitter tributes paid to Speed after his death was announced.
I was given the tragic news this morning. To say I am devastated is an understatement. My thoughts and prayers go out to Gary's family and friends. Today the world has lost a great football manager but even more sadly a great man. He will be missed by all, Aaron Ramsey, who was made the captain of Wales by Speed.
I'm completely shocked and saddened. A great guy and a better team-mate you couldn't wish for. Speedo, RIP mate, said Tony Dorigo. He played alongside Speed on the team that won the 1992 title, according to ESPN.
Gaizka Mendieta tweeted: Shocked after hearing Gary Speed sad news! I played a few times against him ... Great player and great guy! My condolences to the family. #RIP
A statement from Sheffield United, where Speed ended his playing career before becoming manager noted that they are all 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.''
Doncaster manager Dean Saunders, a former international team-mate of Speed, said Speed was fit and was one of those players who would stay behind all day in training. I can't believe what's happened,'' Saunders told BBC Radio Five Live. I just feel for his wife and his dad, I feel sorry for them more than the football.''
Manchester United striker Michael Owen also paid his tribute on Twitter noting that he Just cannot believe the news regarding Gary Speed. We waved at each other a couple of days ago dropping our kids off at school. I'm numb. He has died aged 42. So sad. He lived local to me and we knew his family. He leaves behind 2 sons. Tragic.''
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