Ipswich Town players pay tribute to Gary Speed

THE numerous Ipswich Town players who played alongside or under the management of Gary Speed have today added to the ever-growing heartfelt tributes being paid to the popular Weslhman following his shock death.

Stoke loanee DANNY COLLINS – who has played under Speed for Wales – said: “I spoke to a few of the boys in the Welsh camp yesterday and I just couldn’t believe it when I heard the news. He was a great bloke and its comes as a massive shock to everyone.

“He was a great professional both on and off the pitch and looked after himself really well. He was making great strides with the Welsh side and everything was much more organised and done in a professional manner – he had us going in the right direction. “I never heard a bad word said about him and I wish his family all the best at this sad time.”

Blues midfielder LEE BOWYER – who played alongside Speed at Newcastle – said: “He was such a professional and so many people looked up to him. For the time that I knew him, and I’ve met up with him since leaving Newcastle, he was always so kind and just a really nice person.

“You couldn’t say a bad word against the guy, he was a true gentleman on and off the field and he’s definitely going to be missed. I would also like to send my best to all his family at this devastating time.”

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Town keeper RICHARD WRIGHT – who was signed by Speed at Sheffield United – said: “I only worked with him briefly from the start of last season until Christmas. He was a very bubbly character and very positive around the training ground.

“In my eyes he was an absolute legend, on and off the pitch. He’ll be greatly missed in the game and my thoughts are with his family at this time.”

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Former Ipswich scout CHARLIE WOODS – who was at Newcastle during Speed’s time there – said: “I worked with Gary for five years. I got a phone call from Kieron Dyer (former Town player who also played with Speed at Newcastle) yesterday and I was absolutely stunned when he told me what happened.

“He will be a big miss to football because he was an enormous character and a great lad.”

Town striker MICHAEL CHOPRA – another who played with Speed at Newcastle – said : “He was a brilliant professional and he would always be available to help you out and offer you some advice if you needed it.

“You remember the little things and I knew that if I ever needed to speak to someone, Gary was always there for you.

“It was a really sad day to find out what had happened to him. He had a bright future as a manager and my condolences go out to all his family and friends.”

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