Yesterday Lunchtime, whilst getting ready for the mighty Swans to take on Aston Villa at the Liberty Stadium, the world was greeted with the sad news that Wales Manager, Gary Speed, had died at the age of 42. He was one of the most successful premier league players, having played for Leeds at the height of their success, Newcastle when they were in the Champions League, and Everton, and Blackburn. He had 85 caps for Wales as a player, and with him as the new manager they had shot up the national standing 78 places and become a force to be reckoned with again.
Its a strange thing, as even if I have never met him, hearing about someone passing away at the age of 42 is such a tragedy, especially as he leaves a wife and two teenage boys. He took his own life apparently, and so we can only imagine what problems he must have had to drive him to this. If it was depression, which Stan Collymore is currently going through, we can only hope that his death means more people will seek help if they find themselves in a similar position. No one will know what drove him to this, so all that can be said, is Rest In Peace, thank you for all you have done for the Welsh team as a player and a manager, and being a great servant to every club you played for.
There was fantastic minutes silence from both Swansea and Villa fans yesterday, which turned into Applause out of respect for such a well respected footballer and man.
He was one of those players I grew up admiring, who never pulled out of playing for Wales when many other did, gave everything on the pitch, and played the game for 22 years professionally, many at the highest level. He scored many amazing goals, captained all the sides he played for, and to all who knew him was a decent bloke. RIP.