Gary Speed tribute: Fans gather to honour late Wales manager

Craig Bellamy (centre) with Gary Speed's sons Ed and Tom during the International Friendly at Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff Speed's sons Ed and Tom joined Wales captain Craig Bellamy on the pitch for the national anthems

Related Stories

Thousands of fans have gathered to pay tribute to Gary Speed at the late Wales football manager's memorial match.

Acts including Bryn Terfel, Super Furry Animals and Only Men Aloud performed ahead of the friendly match against Costa Rica at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Ex-Wales stars Ryan Giggs, John Hartson, Mark Hughes, Neville Southall and Robbie Savage were among former players to be introduced at half-time.

The game was also attended by members of Speed's family.

Start Quote

Hopefully tonight's memorial match will allow us... maybe to draw a line under this tragic event”

End Quote Carl Sargeant Alyn and Deeside AM

His two sons, Ed and Tom, took to the pitch before kick-off, where they stood alongside Craig Bellamy, Wales' captain for the night, during the national anthems.

Both boys then shook hands with the Costa Rica captain, before the players gathered around the centre circle as a prolonged round of applause broke out in the stands.

They then returned to the side of the pitch to be greeted by their father's parents, Roger and Carol, standing with new Wales manager Chris Coleman.

During the match the crowd of more than 23,000 continued to burst into applause from time to time.

An emotional night ended when the full-time whistle blew with Costa Rica running out 1-0 winners.

Charities to benefit

In the run-up to the game the Football Association of Wales (FAW) said it wanted the fixture to be a celebration of Speed's life.

A number of charities will also benefit from the match after being nominated by Speed's family.

Cancer support charity Macmillan and the Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm), which looks to help reduce suicides among men under 35, will benefit financially from the match.

Gary Speed captained Wales 44 times and scored seven goals before later becoming manager Gary Speed captained Wales 44 times and scored seven goals before later becoming manager

The Daisy Garland, a charity involved with lives touched by epilepsy and Wrexham FC under-15 boys academy, where Speed's son Ed is a member, will also benefit.

The Craig Bellamy Foundation in Sierra Leone - set up by the Liverpool player who will captain Wales for the game - has asked for a donation of playing kit and equipment.

Former international Matthew Jones also completed a half-marathon at the stadium, collecting funds for the Spinal Injuries Association.

He will be competing in full marathons in the future, having originally been encouraged to do so by Speed.

'Tragic event'

Carl Sargeant, AM for Alyn and Deeside, paid tribute to a "local boy that went on to lead a nation".

He added: "Hopefully tonight's memorial match will allow us, whilst not to fully understand what has happened, maybe to draw a line under this tragic event.

The former Wales manager Mark Hughes paid tribute to Gary Speed ahead of the international match in his honour.

"My thoughts remain with Gary's family at this time and I would also like to draw attention to the charity highlighted by the Speed family, Calm... which aims to help reduce suicide to young men."

The Wales manager's body was found hanged in the garage at his home near Chester last November.

The coroner at his inquest said he could not be satisfied the 42-year-old former Premier League star intended to kill himself.

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.

More on This Story

Related Stories

BBC South West Wales

Weather

Swansea

Min. Night 8 °C

Features & Analysis

  • Martin Gardner as a young manThink hard

    Was this man the world's greatest puzzle master?


  • Carved pumpkinTrick or treat

    What did a riot at a pumpkin festival show about race in US?


  • A woman puts on a surgical mask during hospital Ebola training in Alabama.'Dark continent'

    Is prejudice fuelling Ebola outbreak hysteria in the US?


  • Oscar de la Renta and Oprah WinfreyIn pictures

    The life and work of Oscar de la Renta


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • FutureThe future is now

    Get the latest updates and biggest ideas from BBC Future’s World-Changing Ideas Summit

Programmes

  • Smart glassesClick Watch

    Smart spectacles go into battle – the prototypes looking to take on Google Glass

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.