Black armbands in dignified tribute to former boss

Gary Speed
Gary Speed
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SHEFFIELD United’s players and coaching staff will wear black armbands as a mark of respect to former manager Gary Speed during this weekend’s FA Cup tie with Torquay.

Speed, who was found dead at his home in Cheshire on Sunday morning, also represented the club as a coach and player after a move from Bolton in December 2007.

United officials last night revealed they have been inundated with suggestions from supporters about how best to celebrate the 42-year-old’s memory.

Confirming a minute’s applause will also be held before kick-off, managing director Dave McCarthy said: “We want to do something that’s dignified because Gary was a dignified young man.

“We have received lots and lots of e-mails from fans with suggestions about what we should do and we are in the process of looking at all of those. Certainly there will be floral and pictorial tributes.

“We just want to do things in a tasteful and dignified way because that’s the type of person Gary was.”

Speed, who started his career at Leeds, also served Everton and Newcastle with distinction as well as winning 85 caps for Wales. He made his United debut at Wolves on New Year’s Day 2008 and was appointed as Kevin Blackwell’s successor in 2010 before taking charge of the Principality four months later.

Sheffield United Fans Alliance chairman Stuart Drew said: “Gary supported Blades fan groups by generously giving up his time and donating many items to enable funds to be raised to benefit local charities.

“He was a great ambassador to football, a great man and is a sad loss to all who support the Blades.”