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.
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.
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.