Wales manager Chris Coleman says Gary Speed's sons were a "credit" to their late father when they met the players after the 1-0 defeat by Costa Rica.
Speed's sons Tom and Ed joined their mother and other family members at the memorial match to Speed at Cardiff City Stadium on Wednesday night.
"Ed has come into the dressing room after the game and he gave a speech which anybody would have been proud of.
"There was not a tear in his eyes, he was strong as an ox," Coleman said.
"He came in and he said 'my dad always said to me that if you do your best it's enough, and I think you lot did your best tonight'.
"So what do you say to that, when a 14-year-old boy, who's just lost his dad speaks like that to a bunch of professional footballers?
"What do you say to that - that's bravery, isn't it?"
Coleman admitted he hadn't looked forward to the game, but had been helped through the "incredibly tough" occasion by star player Craig Bellamy.
Speed and Coleman were friends since childhood but the new manager's first game in charge was a tribute to his late former team-mate.
Speed died in November and Coleman, who was appointed in January, admits he is still grieving.
"I wasn't looking forward to it," he said after the 1-0 loss to Costa Rica.
"Craig Bellamy texted me yesterday [Tuesday] and said let's have a cup of coffee so we got together and had a chat.
"He has known me a long time and he is basically telling me to pull my finger out because I've not been myself for two or three days.
"He knows what I'm like and I wasn't what I'm like as he knows I wasn't looking forward to it - for all the right reasons."
Bellamy, stand-in skipper against Costa Rica because of Aaron Ramsey's injury, has a reputation for being an outspoken and often controversial character.
But Coleman praised the "mature" Liverpool forward for helping him through Wednesday's Gary Speed Memorial in Cardiff.
The 32-year-old was also close friends with former club and country team-mate Speed and Bellamy has conceded that the Costa Rica game could be his final Wales international - although Coleman hopes the experienced striker continues.
"There are only two outcomes, he will stay on or he won't," said Coleman.
"I see a maturity about him I never saw in him before. When he is ready he will come out and say, he is his own man, I can't make him [play on].
"I hope he makes the right decision."
Coleman wants Bellamy in his squad for Wales' friendly with Mexico on 27 May in New York when Wales start afresh after a difficult period.
"If I know Speed, he would have wanted us to move on," said Coleman.
"And we will move on eventually, but maybe we're not ready to.
"After this game we play Mexico in May and when we get together I have to find myself.
"And if I can't move on with it and start pushing forward then the players won't because they will be looking to me for a bit of guidance.
"I have got to give that, but I wasn't ready to this week - but I'll be ready in three months.
"It has been an incredibly tough night, it really was for the players.
"But I feel selfish for saying that as tonight was for Speed's family, his wife, his mam, his dad and his boys.
"This game was a surreal situation and one I'm not enjoying - but it was a game we had to play to show our respect for Gary Speed."