Gary Speed (9/8/1969 – 11/2011)

When I got online earlier today after church services and lunch at a local restaurant, and the first news I saw on MSN Homepage was the latest sad chapter in football (soccer) as Welsh national football team head coach was found dead at age of 42, and the news of his death overshadowed the matches held in an hour later between Swansea City and Aston Villa & Liverpool and Manchester City, as well as other matches around the world.

For someone who has only been following the Premier League since 2006, I remembered him as one of the most consistent players in the league even though my memories of him playing the game was limited to the time that he was playing for Bolton Wanderers.  Even when he didn’t get on the field by the time I watched him, he was still playing his best at his age.  Then I heard of him taking the managerial jobs with Sheffield United and then Wales, I thought he would at least give his efforts into make his teams playing better than what they had before.  All of a sudden this news hit the wire, and at this point in time, we don’t exactly know the circumstances of Speed’s death.

Interestingly, this news almost mirrored another one just about 2 years ago when Robert Enke abruptly ended his life while playing for Hannover 96.  If I remember correctly, Enke’s death brought the attention of the public in how to dealing with depression in footballing community in Germany.  If by chance that Speed’s death is also related to the issue of depression, hopefully this will alert the sporting community around the world for better communication and consultation between players, management, and fans alike.

Below are links that are associated with the coverage of his death:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/15908380.stm

http://www.skysports.com/video/inline/0,,12606_7337105,00.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/nov/27/wales-manager-gary-speed

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/wales/8919589/Gary-Speed-found-dead-Wales-manager-was-a-fine-footballer-good-manager-and-a-wonderful-man.html

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