Bale to continue Speed’s work

Former Leeds, Everton, Newcastle, Bolton and Sheffield United

midfielder Speed died at his home on the outskirts of Chester

yesterday, with sources confirming he was found hanged. Friends,

team-mates and colleagues queued up to pay their respects to Speed

in the aftermath and Wales and Tottenham winger Bale was eager to

join them. “It was a massive shock, I don’t think anybody ever

thought anything like this would happen,” Bale told Tottenham’s

official website. “Everyone is devastated and it is a massive loss

to everyone in football. “It is a tragedy, everyone still can’t get

their head around it and all our condolences go out to his family

and his kids. It is a hard time.” Speed had revitalised Welsh

fortunes after taking over last December, overseeing a recent run

of four wins in five games that had raised hopes they could launch

a genuine bid to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. “We were on the

up, he changed the way we play and the whole mentality of our

game,” Bale said. “It is a massive loss, but we will try and carry

on the best we can in his honour.” Cheshire Police said on Monday

the inquest into Speed’s death will be opened at Warrington

Coroner’s Court on Tuesday at 3pm. Professional Footballers’

Association chief executive Gordon Taylor suggested there was an

appetite within his organisation for a public recognition of the

late Wales manager. “He was so popular, so friendly and I never

heard a bad word about him,” he told Sky Sports News. “A real light

has gone out in the football world. “There will be an overwhelming

sense that we want do something together to show how loved and

regarded he was in the football world.”