Wales

Gary Speed portrait presented to Football Association of Wales

  • 28 May 2012
  • From the section Wales
A painting of Gary Speed
Image caption The painting of Gary Speed by Steven Samuel, an artist from Merthyr Tydfil

A portrait of the late Gary Speed has been presented to the Football Association of Wales (FAW) in a special ceremony at the Senedd in Cardiff.

The painting by Merthyr Tydfil artist Steven Samuel is part of the Big Portrait Project, a collection of paintings of Welsh celebrities.

The paintings of about 16 stars, including Sir Tom Jones, will be on display at the Senedd for five days.

Former Wales manager and midfielder died suddenly last November, aged 42.

The portrait of Speed was presented to Peter Barnes of the FAW.

The exhibition originally went on display at Cyfarthfa Castle Museum and Art Gallery in Merthyr Tydfil in March.

There are plans to sell the portraits, apart from Speed's, in aid of the Macmillan cancer charity.

The painting of the football star is the latest by Samuel for the Big Portrait Project.

Others are of singing greats Sir Tom Jones, Dame Shirley Bassey, Donny Osmond and Bonnie Tyler, actor Victor Spinetti, the late actor Philip Madoc, fashion designer Julian Macdonald and First Minister Carwyn Jones.

Samuel asked the celebrities to send him a favourite photo of themselves for him to work from.

Following Speed's death last year, there was an outpouring of grief in the footballing community.

Fans at grounds around the country took part in tributes to the former Welsh captain, who played for a number of Premier League clubs, including Leeds, Newcastle, Everton, and Bolton, and managed Sheffield United.

The coroner at his inquest said he could not be satisfied Speed intended to kill himself.

He recorded a narrative verdict.

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