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Gary Speed Dead

Updated: 2017-08-08T05:01:48.024-07:00


There once was a Effin lady on Facebook


You may a recognised Saint and the brother of Saints Culain and Dairmid. You may have been an Abbot and Bishop of Ros-mic-Truin. You may also have written Vita Tripartita (The Life of Saint Patrick) about the patron Saint of the island of your birth and life. But the campaign to get the village in Ireland named after St. Eimhin has been deemed offensive by Facebook.

The problem is that the Parish of Effin in County Limerick which Ann Marie Kennedy (pictured) tired to add as her home to her Facebook profile. All she got was the option of Effingham in Illinois or New Hampshire. Why she didn't get the one in Surrey which at least is in the same continent is another wonder.

But she attempted to set up a Facebook page to get Effin recognised on Facebook was this was disallowed for being offensive. Therefore

There was an lady who hailed from Effin
But Facebook thought she was cursin'
Because her hometown named for a Saint
Was deemed offensive not quaint.
Now they're worried over in Ecclefechan.

Speed wants Giggs involved


Wales head coach Gary Speed is hoping to persuade Manchester United veteran Ryan Giggs to join his coaching staff.
The former Dragons skipper has already admitted he is ready to help out Speed but won't be making a playing comeback for his country.
It was reported Speed could make Giggs, 37, his captain for the Euro 2012 qualifying clash with England at the Millennium Stadium in March.

GARY SPEED (1969-2011)


Gary Speed, former Leeds United, Newcastle, Everton, Sheffield United and Bolton Wanderers player- currently serving as manager of the Welsh International football team- died last night on Sunday, 27th November. His death was first announced by the Football Association of Wales, and the footballing world- particularly the FA Barclays Premier League- came to an emotional standstill. Speed is said to have committed suicide by hanging himself at his home in Cheshire. He is now the second world-renowned sporting figure to have taken his own own life in less than a month, after celebrated cricket writer Peter Roebuck jumped out of his South African hotel balcony before the second test between Australia and South Africa. But unlike Roebuck, no murky circumstances or criminal investigations surround Speed’s death, as we speak. Not yet, atleast. As things stand, fans and admirers alike, prefer it to remain that way. Speed was known for his wholehearted dedication to the game, and remains one of two Premier League players (both being Welsh) to have scored in every season since his debut as a player when he played for Bolton in 2007 at the age of 37. Ryan Giggs later broke the record in 2008. In all, Speed played for a total of 20 years as an outfield player, becoming one of the most capped players for both league and country. 535 appearances in the FA Premier league made him sole owner of the record until David James passed it soon after, followed by Ryan Giggs. 85 international caps established him as the foremost of the Welsh legends of the game, until he took over as manager less than a year before his death. Gary Speed started his career with Leeds United as a teenager, and went on to play for his childhood-favorite club Everton from 1996 to 1998, also instilled as team captain for the period. He then moved on to Newcastle United, followed by his famous stint with Bolton where he became the first-ever player to clock 500 appearances for the league. He then began to dabble in life behind the scenes, as he was controversially named Manager after Sam Allardyce stepped down in 2007. He continued as player, but struggled with multiple responsibilities- and was relieved of managerial power a few months down the line. He remained a crucial cog in the midfield, though, and joined Sheffield United on loan in early 2008. He played half the 2008-09 season, ending with 3 goals- and suffered from a back injury later that year that effectively ended his playing career in the longer scheme of things. He finally announced his retirement in his 41st year, and stayed on at Sheffield United and agreed to stay on as manager for another year. He was three months into a 3 year contract in the 2010-11 season, when he was approached by the FA of Wales for a possible managerial job at country level. He was allowed to pursue the offer by Sheffield United, and subsequently joined as manager of Wales on 14th December, 2010. Wales, as a footballing nation, had suffered the ignominy of not being able to appear in World Cups and other European tournaments for than a decade, inspite of having players like Giggs, Bellamy and Speed for a long time. Speed, though, when appointed as Manager, was expected to lift Wales back to the dizzy heights of their glory days decades ago. His first game in charge didn’t go down too well, with Wales suffering a 3-0 defeat to Ireland in February at the Nations Cup. Euro 2012 qualifiers were underway, and Wales lost twice to England in their group- home and away. But wins against Montenegro, Switzerland and Bulgaria lifted a bit of gloom and put Wales in contention for second place in the group. Speed, though, seemed to have other ide[...]

Speed hopes Giggs will continue involvement with Wales camp



Wales boss Gary Speed has revealed the door is wide open for Ryan Giggs to join him in the national team’s coaching set-up.

The 37-year-old still has a year to go in his contract with Manchester United but has already worked with his former international team-mate when he joined the squad before their Euro 2012 qualifier defeat to England in Cardiff back in March.

Wales’ qualification appear to be slim after struggling so far in qualification, losing their first four matches.

Gary Speed to be unveiled as new Wales manager


Gary Speed is leaving Sheffield United to take over the Wales national team after 18 matches as a manager. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/Empics

Gary Speed will be confirmed as the new Wales manager tomorrow after agreeing a three-and-a-half year contract that includes a £1m bonus if he can qualify for a major finals. The former Wales captain will be unveiled as John Toshack's successor after Sheffield United refused to stand in his way when he made it clear he was keen to manage the country he won 85 caps for between 1990 and 2004.

The 41-year-old, whose first taste of management came when he took over at Bramall Lane in August, is understood to have signed a contract taking him up to the 2014 World Cup finals. Although Speed will be rewarded handsomely if Wales qualify for the World Cup in Brazil, his basic wage will be around £200,000 a year, significantly less than his salary at Sheffield United and a fraction of what many international managers earn.

It is unclear at this stage whether the Football Association of Wales have had to pay Sheffield United any compensation for Speed, who signed a three-year contract when he replaced Kevin Blackwell. Since taking over at Bramall Lane, Speed has endured a difficult time, losing nine of 18 matches in charge, leaving Sheffield United one point and two places above the Championship relegation zone.

Although Speed enjoyed a long and successful playing career, during which he made more than 500 Premier League appearances for Leeds, Everton, Newcastle and Bolton, and is a highly respected figure, his appointment comes as something of a surprise. Chris Coleman, who played alongside Speed for Wales, and Lars Lagerback, the former Sweden coach, were regarded as the frontrunners and both have considerably more managerial experience.

Brian Flynn, who was interviewed for the post along with Coleman, Lagerback and John Hartson, will be bitterly disappointed after once again being overlooked by the FAW. However, the back-to-back defeats Flynn suffered against Bulgaria and Switzerland in October, when he was placed in temporary charge after Toshack departed, severely damaged his chances. Flynn is now set to return to his duties as Wales Under-21 manager, where he has an excellent record.

Although Wales are blessed with some outstanding individual talents in the shape of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, recent results have been poor and Speed's first job will be to restore confidence to a side that have lost their opening three 2012 European Championship qualification fixtures. Speed's first competitive game will be against England, at the Millennium Stadium on 26 March.

Sheffield United, meanwhile, will begin their search for their third manager of the season. The early contenders include Chris Hughton, who was sacked as Newcastle manager last week, Phil Brown, who has been out of work since leaving Hull City last season, and Coleman, who has been mulling over an offer to take over at the Greek club Larissa while waiting to hear back from the FAW.

Golden Gary Wins Special Award



GARY SPEED was awarded a golden cap by the Football Association of Wales prior to last weekend's World Cup qualifier against England for his exemplary service to his country.

The Wanderers midfielder, who won 85 caps for Wales before retiring from international football last season, teamed up with compatriots Andy Melville in front of a packed and passionate Millennium Stadium crowd, to receive the award.

Premier League Legend Gary Speed Found Dead



On days like this, football means nothing

RIP Gary Speed


Sunday was a horrible day for the whole footballing world as the news of Gary Speed’s death was made public at lunch time.

Unfortunately I am not lucky enough to remember Speed’s days at Leeds but having watched his career at Everton, Newcastle, Bolton, Sheffield United and Wales with nothing but admiration, I can only wish I could have witnessed his 312 appearances in a Leeds shirt.


Gary Speed in his Leeds days.

A few memories of Gary Speed I do have though include last season at Doncaster away. Speed, who was Sheffield United boss at the time, quietly checking out his opponents for an upcoming match when he was spotted by the Leeds fans. Of course, the travelling Leeds fans then proceeded to chant at him for most of the night, rather than watch a game which turned out to be a dull 0-0 draw.

Another memory is seeing that fine midfield four of Gordan Strachan, Gary McAllister, Gary Speed and David Batty reunited for Lucas Radebe’s testimonial. Speed was replaced by Leeds Ladies star Lucy Ward late in the game but just to see the man in a Leeds shirt was special. United have had some fine midfielders over the years but if there was one Leeds midfield I could choose to have seen, it would be the title winning midfield of 1992. Maybe with Billy Bremner added to it.


Batty, Speed and McAllister together again at Radebe's testimonial.

Finally, during my first season watching Leeds in 1997-98 I can remember Speed missing a penalty for the visitors (Everton), cheers for that Gary! They might not be the best memories, but they are mine. Please feel free to leave your memories of Gary in the comments section.

The footballing world has lost one of it’s greatest servants with Speed having made over 500 Premier League appearances in a career which included 85 caps for Wales. Robbie Savage and Shay Given have both been unable to fight away the tears today and tributes have been flooding in from all over the footballing world, here are just a few:

Simon Grayson – “We signed on the same day and played in the youth and reserve teams together. We also did all our coaching badges together. He was a good friend and this is a very sad day. Gary was such a popular person and this is a hard time for everybody.”

Alan Shearer – “Gary was a magnificent person, bright, fun and a wonderful family man – he lit up every room he walked into. I am proud to have been his friend and will miss him dreadfully.”

Mark Hughes – “I’m devastated. He was a privilege to work alongside and call a friend, my thoughts are with his family.”

As Kenny Dalglish said today, football becomes irrelevant at times like these. Rip Gary, our thoughts go out to all family and friends.

Please feel free to leave any memories or tributes you have for Gary in the comments section.

Gary Speed 1969 – 2011


There are times in life when sport is put into perspective in the saddest of ways.

Gary Speed’s death at the age of 42 is a prime example of this. A celebrated football player and manager, father of two boys, the desperately sad news of Gary Speed’s death didn’t seem real as it filtered through.

A superb model professional during his successful playing career, Speed was always respected by his peers and made the most of all of his talent. From starting out at Leeds, where he won the First Division in 1992, his career went from strength to strength and he moved to Everton in 1996 where he became club captain. Only two years later though and he was on his way to Newcastle for £5.5 million and he went on to enjoy the most successful time of his career, despite not winning any silverware.

Newcastle lost two FA Cup finals, in 1998 and 99, but qualified for the Champions League in 2002-03 where Speed excelled. Newcastle manager Sir Bobby Robson was sad to see him leave the club in 2004 when he moved to Bolton and it was here that Speed’s coaching career began in 2007, taking on a player/coach role under Sam Allardyce.

After Allardyce left the club, Speed went back to being solely a player under Sammy Lee, but he also left not long after, joining Sheffield United in 2008. He became vice captain

but age slowly began to catch up with Speed and injuries began to plague him, leading to his retirement.


Gary Speed 1969-2011

His dedication to training allied with his ability led to him setting a record amount of appearance in the Premier League, 535, which was only broken by David James and the patriotic Speed is the record out field appearances holder for Wales, winning 85 caps.

He took on a coaching role at Sheffield United in 2010-11, but only three games into the season manager Kevin Blackwell was sacked and Speed took over.

It was a baptism of fire for him, as he struggled to adapt to management, but that didn’t stop the Welsh FA picking him to succeed John Toshack as manager of the national side in December 2010.

It took Speed a while to get his ideas and philosophy across to the Welsh squad and they slipped to their lowest ever FIFA world ranking, 117th, after a string of poor results. However, things began to pick up and after three wins in four games, they rose to 45th in the rankings and in Speed’s last game in charge they dismantled Norway 4-1.

The future was very bright for the Welshman – his Wales side, for it remains his team, is full of potential and are playing great football and Speed’s career in management looked likely to go from strength to strength.

But the amount of tributes paid to Speed and the heartfelt nature of all of them is proof that his death transcends sport – Gary Speed was a good man and inspired a lot of people.

Just an hour after the news of his death broke, the Premier League match between Swansea and Aston Villa was due to take place. A minute’s silence spontaneously turned into a minute’s applause and the crowd chanted ‘there’s only one Gary Speed.’ Proof, is proof was needed, of how sorely he will be missed.

Advent Calendar Day 2


This Christmas I'm doing an online advent calendar of Youtube treats. There is one song from Love Actually that I really wanted to include but the embedding everywhere is disabled.

So instead I leave you with this.

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World Aids Day 2011: Getting to Zero #WAD2011


Today is World AIDS Day and the theme for 2011 is Getting to Zero. What that means is:

  • Getting to zero new HIV infections
  • Getting to zero discrimination
  • Getting to zero AIDS related deaths
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The first one is up to YOU know your status and your partners status and play it safe until you do. HIV can be passed on by heterosexual as were a homosexual sex, it can also be passed on by intravenous drug users sharing neddles. So be careful folks. Treat each new sexual partner with safety first, you won't know if they are affected on first contact.

The zero discrimination about HIV and AIDS is harder to achieve when you get groups like Christians for a Moral American making comments like this about the recent hospitalisation of George Michael. Yes 30 years on we still have ignorant people who think that HIV and AIDS are gay diseases. I had a conversation in a chat room during the week about people not wearing a red ribbon. Some don't wear it because they feel it marks them out a either LGBT or having HIV themselves. Some of the people who thought that love it when a straight celebrity appears in the gay media (yes the naked issue of Gay Times is out) supporting the LGBT community by identifying with them, but they seem nervous about supporting those living with HIV so positively. Of course those that wear the ribbon are those living with HIV, their partners, family, friends and supporters. At least that is how it should be. 

HIV is affected whole communities in parts of Africa. This is where the greatest number of AIDS related deaths occurs. All because the people there cannot afford the medications that many of those in the West take for granted these days. Many people can live successful lives living with HIV with their meds, but the companies who have produced the live enhancing and supporting meds for HIV are in it to make money and the Africa epidemic is something they are not prepared to do.

Of course not every area of the world is prepared to met all three of the zeroes this year. But the focus should be on one that can be most effective to a region or nations situation. All three require education to the risks that are still there and the things that can be done to overcome the stigma, the risk and the ability for those living with HIV to remain strong.

If you have a ribbon wear it with pride today. If you haven't see if you can find one (if not for this year for next December).

Finally I wish I were down in London today to take part in the World AIDS Day Swish down Old Compton Street at 6pm. However, those folks at Gaydar radio put in a little practise earlier. Now radio isn't the best medium to share such an activity with everyone, so they YouTubed it here:
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Advent Calendar Day 1


This year just like an advent calendar I'm going to give you a little Youtube treat each day to hopefully get you in to the mood. First up here is one band that I have used before at Christmas time but this time not with a song you'll know.

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People who inspired me: Richard Lowry 1955-2011


Earlier tonight while over at my brother's he turned to me from Facebook to tell me that Richard Lowry had died earlier today.Mr Lowry as we knew him was the younger Economics teacher at Regent House Grammar School when I started my A' Level in the subject. But he was the one who was more inspirational. He was only 15 years older than us but he had ways to get us involved in practical Economics.When it came to learning about how the stock market worked, he gave us all pages of accounting paper and the sum of £500 on the credit side. For the next three months until the end of that first term we would trade shares at the closing day closing prices from the previous day. He would have to sign off any transactions so on the days we didn't have him for economics we would end up in his hut with our broadsheet paper ( in my case the Guardian, or the new Independent) to carry out our trades. At the end there was a prize of a mint Bank of England one pound note* in a frame. That One Pound Note has traveled to London and back then off to Scotland and back in my safe possession since.The first time I watched the budget was actually in one of Mr Lowry's classes, wonderfully scheduled for the Chancellor's presentations (they were in the Autumn in 1986). We knew what we were looking out for and were filing in notes of key changes as we went through. It is something I've done many times since, so the fact that I learn of his death on the day of a Chancellors Autumn Statement seems even more poignant.However, with Doctor Bell seemingly part of the furniture at Regent Mr Lowry looked for better options so before the end of our first year of our A' Level he went of to Glenlola as the head of Business Studies. He later went on to be head of sixth form and Vice Principal. He'd only taken half our our A' Level classes but we always looked forward to them. When he let at the start of June his substitute was Sammy Wilson who is now in charge of the Northern Irish Executive budget.One morning  he drew up a graph of a good type on the board and started to tell us what to write about it, then half way through started to say that in reverse this meant something else, which got more and more ludicrous as he carried on speaking. I either sadly, or happily, don't have all that he said as more and more of us stopped writing until he got the the line. "Many people have taken this reverse theory as truth and written long studies of this principle but are no better than April Fools" Yes there were a few still writing when he got to those last two words. One person even didn't stop until he wrote down 'fools'.It was Mr Lowry who inspired me to take Economics further to University (okay I started out at Polytechnic, but my degree is from a University). Of course doing so also got me involved in politics, not the them and us of Northern Irish politics but the real politics of the rest of the UK. I got involved with the exciting new party that had just formed from two founding parties in their first freshers events in September 1988. It has led to so much more (see the political experience tab).I seen him occasionally around Bangor since he took the role at Glenlola and had told him about standing for Westminster in 2005. He was truly and inspiration that led me to what I've been involved with for the past two decades.He truly was an inspirational teacher. He took early retirement in January 2010 on health grounds, sadly he has died at[...]

A gender balanced Sports Personality of the Year Shsortlist #BBCfail Updated


Yesterday I posted about how the BBC had managed to produce their Sports Personality of the Year list without including a single woman. Today I'm going to produce a gender balanced list of champions, looking at some of the criteria of the all-male list, I have the double World medalist, the emotional champion winning year, the complete dominance of her sport, the inspirational captain and the one who's put disappointment aside in a preferred event to succeed elsewhere.Mo FarrahRebecca Adlington like Mo Farrah above came back from the Worlds with a gold and silver medal. Only see got gold in her longer event the 800m and silver in the 400m. She had also tried to compete in the 200m, but as the result of failing to make the semis in Shanghai has decided to concentrate on just her two gold medal defences for next year.Rory McIlroyBeth Tweddle well if the English Cricket Captain can make the all male top ten I'm putting Beth in there. She may not have won any world titles this year but she did inspire the GB women's team to 5th place overall, their highest ever position. She put in possibly her last world level uneven bars routine to lead the way with 15.666 and made the apparatus final in the floor. A mistake in qualifying meant that Tweddle didn't make the uneven bars final but in the team competition she showed she is still the best.Mark CavendishChrissie Williamson while Cav produces the sprint finish how would you like to swim 2.4km, cycle 112 miles then run a full marathon. Now do that against the best in the world and for a fourth time cross the line first. But for illness last year she may well have been celebrating her fifth in a row. Yeah talk about rowing Sir Steve Redgrave only won his SPOTY after five Olympic Titles four years apart (okay there were Worlds in between). Chrissie has dominated the world Ironman scene for the last five years. Surprisingly I don't recall any of our world class Triathlon competitors being short listed for SPOTY.Alastair CookVictoria Pendleton may have lost her World Sprint Title earlier in the year for the first time since 2006 but came back in the Europeans to take two of the five golds in what should be Team GB&NIs star event next summer. The set back of failing to get to the medal rounds of her favoured sprints once again didn't deter Vicky who won Gold in the Kerin and Team Sprint.Luke DonaldSarah Stevenson is a World Taekwando champion. Building on her bronze in Beijing she was working towards greater heights in London next year. However, this year she lost her mother in January of a terminal condition and her father to a tumour 3 months later. Therefore it was an emotional performance dedicated to her absent parents that lifted Gold in Korea last month.Update According to the BBC here is a full list of those nominated by the main newspapers plus Zoo and Nuts. Where were the votes from Cosmo or Prima.Here is the rundown of actual nominations, in order of nominations, from a largely male press core o 27 publications:27 Rory McIlroy (Golf) 26 Darren Clarke (Golf)25 Mo Farah (Athletics)23 Mark Cavendish (Cycling) 2318 Alastair Cook (Cricket)17 Dai Greene (Athletics)14 Andy Murray (Tennis); Andrew Strauss (Cricket)11 Luke Donald  (Golf)7 Amir Khan (Boxing)6 Rebecca Adlington (Swimming); Jenson Button (Motorsport) 65 Alastair Brownlee (Triathlon);&[...]