Irish FA chief executive Shaw in tribute to Gary Speed

Gary Speed

Irish Football Association president Jim Shaw has joined the tributes to Wales manager Gary Speed, who was found dead at his Chester home.

The 42-year-old former midfielder won 85 international caps and had been national team boss for 10 games.

"He was always a friendly person and very warm and courteous," said Shaw, who met Speed on a number of occasions.

"It is a very sad day for football and for Gary Speed's family. We express our deepest sympathies to Gary's family."

Cheshire Police confirmed Speed's body was discovered at 0708 GMT on Sunday at his home in Huntington, Chester, and said there were no suspicious circumstances. Sources said that he had been found hanged.

Speed made his name at Leeds and played a key role as United won the First Division title in 1992 - the season before it was rebranded the Premier League.

The midfielder went on to play for Everton, Newcastle, Bolton and Sheffield United before being appointed manager of Wales in December 2010 after retiring as a player in May last year.

Wales' 4-1 friendly win over Norway on 12 November represented a third successive win for Speed's team - his fifth in 10 games as manager.

"He was such a high profile player and manager with a young family. This must be devastating for them," Shaw told the News Letter.

"I know other people who met him during his playing days at Everton, and he always took time out to speak with them and help them out in any way."

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