Gary Speed made his 500th Premier League appearance while at Bolton
3:53pm UK, Sunday November 27, 2011
Gary Speed, who has died aged 42, played nearly 700 times for Leeds, Everton, Newcastle, Bolton and Sheffield United in a 22-season career and made 85 appearances for Wales.
Born in Mancot, Flintshire in 1969, the midfielder started out with Leeds in 1988 and won the first division title with the Yorkshire club in 1992.
Moving on to Everton in 1996 and then Newcastle in 1998, Speed became the first footballer to play in 500 Premier League games in December 2006 during his time at Bolton (2004-2008).
He held the record with 535 until it was surpassed by goalkeeper David James in 2009. Ryan Giggs has also since passed the mark.
He played for Wales between 1990 and 2004, being their most capped outfield player and second highest overall behind goalkeeper Neville Southall. He scored seven goals for his country.
Speed scored in every top-flight season in which he played until dropping out of the Premier League in 2008 when he joined Sheffield United.
He scored a total of 103 league goals in 677 appearances.
Speed was manager of the Welsh national side
With injuries finally beginning to affect him, Speed became a coach at Sheffield United and formally retired from playing at the end of the 2009-10 season.
He became Blades manager early in the following campaign but was soon approached by Wales after John Toshack resigned as coach.
He was handed the Welsh national team reins in December 2010 and led the side to five wins from 10 matches.
Although Wales were eliminated from the race for the Euro 2012 finals, they had won their last three internationals and there were signs of real improvement under Speed’s guidance.
The victories included a 4-1 win over Norway two weeks ago, earning plaudits for the side’s style of play and emphasis on youth.
“We’ve got talent in abundance and I’m fortunate to be in that position,” he said after the win in Cardiff on November 12.
“We are building for the future. There is still a lot of improving to be done but we are going in the right direction.”
He was awarded the MBE for services to football after retiring as a player last year.