|Speed played for Sheffield United, Leeds, Everton, Bolton and Newcastle as a midfielder, making 85 appearances for Wales before becoming manager of the national team last year [GALLO/GETTY]|
Wales football manager Gary Speed was found dead at his home on Sunday, the Football Association of Wales (FAW) announced – he was 42.
The Football Association of Wales (FAW) has told the BBC it appears Speed killed himself.
A statement on the FAW website, confirming the news, read: “The Football Association of Wales are sad to announce the death of the national team manager Gary Speed.
“We extend our sympathies and condolences to the family.
“We ask that everyone respects the family’s privacy at this very sad time.”
Cheshire police also issued a statement.
“At 7.08am (7.08GMT) today, Cheshire Police was informed of a sudden death at an address in Huntington, Chester.
|Speed joined Newcastle in 1998 for £5.5 million [GETT]|
“Officers went to the scene where a 42-year-old man was found dead. The next of kin have been informed and have confirmed the identity of the man as Gary Speed.
“There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death. The family have requested that they are left in peace to grieve at this difficult time. A family tribute will be released at a later date but not today.”
Speed – capped 85 times by Wales and a winner of the English league title with Leeds United – took over coaching the national side last year and was credited with reviving their fortunes recently leading them to three successive wins for the first time since 2008.
He was also awarded the Member of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II last year.
Wales’s First Minister Carwyn Jones called it “devastating news”.
“Our thoughts are with his family at what must be a very difficult time for them,” he said.