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RIP Gary Speed

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Sunday was a horrible day for the whole footballing world as the news of Gary Speed's death was made public at lunch time.

Unfortunately I am not lucky enough to remember Speed's days at Leeds but having watched his career at Everton, Newcastle, Bolton, Sheffield United and Wales with nothing but admiration, I can only wish I could have witnessed his 312 appearances in a Leeds shirt.

Gary Speed in his Leeds days.

Gary Speed in his Leeds days.

A few memories of Gary Speed I do have though include last season at Doncaster away. Speed, who was Sheffield United boss at the time, quietly checking out his opponents for an upcoming match when he was spotted by the Leeds fans. Of course, the travelling Leeds fans then proceeded to chant at him for most of the night, rather than watch a game which turned out to be a dull 0-0 draw.

Another memory is seeing that fine midfield four of Gordan Strachan, Gary McAllister, Gary Speed and David Batty reunited for Lucas Radebe's testimonial. Speed was replaced by Leeds Ladies star Lucy Ward late in the game but just to see the man in a Leeds shirt was special. United have had some fine midfielders over the years but if there was one Leeds midfield I could choose to have seen, it would be the title winning midfield of 1992. Maybe with Billy Bremner added to it.

Batty, Speed and McAllister together again at Radebe's testimonial.

Batty, Speed and McAllister together again at Radebe's testimonial.

Finally, during my first season watching Leeds in 1997-98 I can remember Speed missing a penalty for the visitors (Everton), cheers for that Gary! They might not be the best memories, but they are mine. Please feel free to leave your memories of Gary in the comments section.

The footballing world has lost one of it's greatest servants with Speed having made over 500 Premier League appearances in a career which included 85 caps for Wales. Robbie Savage and Shay Given have both been unable to fight away the tears today and tributes have been flooding in from all over the footballing world, here are just a few:

Simon Grayson - "We signed on the same day and played in the youth and reserve teams together. We also did all our coaching badges together. He was a good friend and this is a very sad day. Gary was such a popular person and this is a hard time for everybody."

Alan Shearer - "Gary was a magnificent person, bright, fun and a wonderful family man - he lit up every room he walked into. I am proud to have been his friend and will miss him dreadfully."

Mark Hughes - "I'm devastated. He was a privilege to work alongside and call a friend, my thoughts are with his family."

As Kenny Dalglish said today, football becomes irrelevant at times like these. Rip Gary, our thoughts go out to all family and friends.

Please feel free to leave any memories or tributes you have for Gary in the comments section.