The death of Gary Speed was one of those news stories which, when read first on Twitter, always makes me think: “I need to see that several more times from people I trust before I believe it.” Confirmation followed soon after.
As is increasingly the case on social networks, the actual news was soon superceded by speculation about what happened, while broadcast news and news websites kept – largely – to the facts and went heavily on tributes.
But Monday morning brought another aspect to the coverage – content from some of the journalists who knew him best – regional journalists who covered the clubs he played for and, latterly, managed.
As I tend to do from time to time on this blog, here’s a round-up of the front page from the areas with the closest connection to Speed the player and Speed the manager:
1. Yorkshire Post: Speed was a trainee at Leeds and was at the club from June 1988 until July 1996, making 231 league starts, 21 FA Cup starts and 25 League Cup starts.
2. Liverpool ECHO/Liverpool Daily Post: Speed moved to Everton in July 1996, for£3.5million. He made 58 league starts, scoring 15 goals. He featured in the FA Cup twice at Everton, scoring once, and once in five appearances in the League Cup:
3. Newcastle Evening Chronicle/Newcastle Journal/Northern Echo: In February 1998, Speed became a Newcastle player in a deal worth £5.5million. Over the next six years, he made 206 League starts, 22 FA cup appearances and nine league cup appearances. In the Premier League, he scored 29 goals.
4. Bolton News: In July 2004, Speed headed south to the Reebok to join Bolton for £750,000. 115 league starts followed, with 14 goals. Six FA Cup starts and four League Cup starts are also listed:
5. Sheffield Star: For £250,000, Speed moved to Sheffield United in January 2008. He made 38 league starts, scoring six goals, along with two FA Cup appearances and one League Cup appearance. He went on to become manager at the Blades.
6. Western Mail/South Wales Echo/South Wales Argus/South Wales Evening Post/North Wales Daily Post: In 2010, Speed became manager of Wales, and his run of four victories in his last five games had convinced many that Wales could mount a bid for the next World Cup in 2014: