There’s no doubt that this has been an emotional week for the Newcastle United club.
Gary Speed – honored tomorrow at St. James’ Park
The terrible and tragic news on Sunday morning that Gary Speed had been found dead in his home in Cheshire hit the football world hard – very hard.
But that was especially true at Newcastle, where he played 284 times with 40 goals from 1998 until 2004 and was much loved and respected player.
Alan himself has paid tribute to the Welshman, and he hopes his team can pay tribute to the much revered player in the right way tomorrow:
“He was a great player here and a captain of this Club. He has been a big loss to us this week.”
“The training ground has been heavy, particularly the first two days, because we had a lot of staff and players who were remembering him not only as a great player but also as a great person.”
“It has been a difficult week, but hopefully we can prepare ourselves mentally for the game.” “We have all been very involved to make sure that we pay the tribute in the right manner.”
“And I think the Club have stepped in the right way to do that.” “Hopefully it will be accepted and responded to well by the fans here who love Gary Speed.”
“They will want to show their affection for him, and hopefully we will give them the right platform and atmosphere for that to take place.”
“We will be doing as much as we can to pay our respects to him and his family, who are the most important people now.”
Newcastle have done an excellent job in planning the tribute, and fans will raise his black and white number 11- his number at Newcastle United – before before Welsh tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones will lead the crowd in a rendition of Bread of Heaven.
There will then be a minute’s applause after that, and Gary Speed will be on the front cover of the match-day program, and featured heavily inside.
Some are also trying to get fans to bring scarves to the game so they can pay tribute to Gary during the game too.
It will be a very emotional start to the game, and there will be some tears shed for a terrific guy, who was also a great role model to a lot of us, and especially to the youngsters.