Gary Andrew Speed, MBE (8 September 1969 – 27 November 2011) was a Welsh professional footballer and manager.
As a player, he is best known for his spell between 1988 and 1996 at Leeds United where he won the English Football League First Division Championship in 1992, and also for his spell between 1998 and 2004 at Newcastle United as well as three and a half years at Bolton Wanderers during their days under Sam Allardyce's management. He captained the Wales national football team until retiring from international football in 2004. He remains the most capped outfield player for Wales and the second overall, having appeared 85 times at senior level between 1990 and 2004, playing mainly as a left-side attacking midfielder. He started off his career in 1988 and retired in 2010. Speed was appointed manager of Sheffield United in 2010, but left the club after a few months in December 2010 to manage the Wales national team, remaining in this role until his death 11 months later. Speed played professionally for Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield United. Rarely troubled by injury or suspension, he held the record for the most appearances in the Premier League at 535, until it was surpassed by David James.
At the time of his death, only James and Ryan Giggs had played in more Premier League matches than Speed. Including his appearances in The Football League and cup competitions, he made 840 domestic appearances. He played in the Leeds United team that won the Football League First Division championship in 1991–92, the year before the FA Premier League was formed. He also played in consecutive FA Cup finals for Newcastle United, losing to Arsenal in 1998 and to Manchester United in 1999. Speed was found dead from hanging on 27 November 2011, aged 42.Close