Newcastle have postponed their planned tribute to their former midfield star Gary Speed at the request of his wife Louise.
Gary Speed with his wife Louise in a recent photograph
It tunes out that Spepd’s wife Louise has been very touched by the plans made by his former clubs to honor her husband, and she wants to attend the ceremony.
Mrs Speed will be at Elland Road tomorrow, and Newcastle will now have their tribute at their next home game, interestingly against Welsh club Swansea on Saturday, December 17.
BNewcastle’s Managing Director Derek Llambias said on Friday:
“We have today received a request from Louise Speed to postpone the club’s planned tribute to her husband Gary in order that she can join us at the stadium when our tribute takes place.”
“Louise has been very touched by the plans and expressed a desire to be present.” “As Louise will be at Elland Road tomorrow, on her request, we have rescheduled our tribute.”
“And it will now take place at our next home game against Swansea on December 17th.” “A minute’s applause for Gary will still take place before kick-off tomorrow.”
Newcastle had planned to have Welsh tenor Gwyn Hughes lead a capacity crowd of 52,000 in the hymn “Bread of Heaven” followed bu one minute of applause for the Welsh superstar.
And supporters in the East Stand were to be provided with black and white cards which which have Gary’s number at Newcastle , number 11 on them.
Presumably that will not all take place before the Swansea game, which is two weeks tomorrow.
Tomorrow will be a round of applause in the memory of Gary Speed before the game.
For the record Gary Speed was signed by Newcastle United on 6th February 1998 from Everton by Kenny Dalglish for a fee of £5.5M, and he left to join Bolton for a £750K fee in July of 2004, having played 284 times with 40 goals for the Magpies.
It’s good that Louise will attend the ceremony in two weeks time, and of course she will receive a magnificent and heart-felt welcome from the Newcastle fans, who also loved her husband.
No doubt close friends of Gary’s like Alan Shearer and John Carver will also be at the ceremony, which will be even more emotional now that Louise will be present.
There has been a lot of outpouring of emotion from those in the football world since Gary Speed’s death over the weekend, when his wife found him hanging in the garage at 7:04 am on Sunday morning.
Our hearts go out to Louise, her two sons and to Gary’s family.