Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs was left stunned and “totally devestated” by the tragic death of Gary Speed. The two were longtime adversaries at club level but teammates while representing Wales.
“I am totally devastated,” Giggs told Manutd.com. “Gary Speed was one of the nicest men in football and someone I am honoured to call a team-mate and friend.
“Words cannot begin to describe how sad I feel at hearing this awful news. It goes without saying my thoughts are with his family at this tremendously sad time.”
Speed was found dead at his home Sunday, having reportedly hanged himself. He was one of the British game’s modern greats, making 535 appearances in the English Premier League and 85 more for Wales. The widely admired 42-year-old was building a reputation as one of the top young managers, leading Wales into a bright new era.
Giggs and Speed broke into the Welsh national team around the same time. Speed made his debut in 1990 and Giggs did so a year later. They were teammates for Wales until Speed retired from international play in 2004.
The pair shared a healthy rivalry as competitors. Speed was a fixture for the Leeds United’s 1992 league championship-winning team, while Giggs won the PFA Young Player of the Year Award for rivals Manchester United.
Thumbnail photo via Flickr/The EFP