Gary Speed RIP

Gary Speed

Update [Dec 3rd 2011]

After his tragic death, there was a surge of acknowledgements of the life and achivements of Gary Speed, both within and beyond the football world. The original post [below] captures the mood in the first 24 hours, as the news spread around the world

Gary Speed died suddenly on November 27th 2011 at the age of 42

The Wales Manager Gary Speed was promising a bright future for Welsh international football. His young team was gaining in confidence after three consecutive wins.

A premature death

In the days that followed his death, there were tributes from around the world. The picture from countless friends that repeatedly emerged was someone who had transcended the egotistical danger of fame.

Here is a video of BBC radio bulletin which was broadcast a few hours after news of his premature death. It includes the silent tribute paid to Gary Speed at the start of the Swansea City:Aston Villa match which turned into spontaneous applause.

Modest but of fierce resolve

In the vocabulary of Leaders we deserve Gary Speed might be seen as a version of the Level five leader (modest but of fierce resolve) . Others might see elements of the the charismatic figure from whom friends and colleagues wanted approval. The more recent ideas of authentic leadership also come into the picture.

Press discipline

The media respected the wishes of the family for respect to be shown without intrusion. Perhaps the publicity being given to the on-going Leveson inquiry into press standards was an influential factor in this.

On the day of his inquest, web stories begin about the contribution of tabloid media to Speed’s death. The Sun is showing great interest in the emerging story and has provided stunning (but non-exclusive) coverage.

The Tributes

Among the many tributes, one of the most imaginative was from Leeds fans

Earlier this week Leeds fans chanted Speed’s name for 11 minutes from the 11th minute of their match against Nottingham Forest in honour of their former number 11.

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2 Responses to Gary Speed RIP

  1. Paul Hinks says:

    Tudor,

    It is indeed a very sad story.

    I agree Gary Speed did exude the Layer 5 leadership traits – a man of standards with integrity; a person who offered support & encouragement to others; a people person who appeared at ease in every walk of life.

    As a Bolton Wanderers fan, I enjoyed watching Gary Speed ply his trade for a while – an honest, tenacious, committed professional – he led by example, and helped our football club achieve more than we expected.

    A very sad loss.

    Paul

  2. Thanks Paul. Gray Speed also increasingly presented himself in a remarkably consistent and admired way to people in all walks of life.

    There is an understandable urge for a wide circle of folk in and outside football to get an an answer to perhaps the unanswerable – ‘why’.

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