Gary Speed

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter

 

This weekend, Newcastle United will once again pay tribute to Gary Speed.

The former Magpies, Leeds, Everton, Bolton, Sheffield United and Wales midfielder died at the end of November, aged 42. He made 285 appearances while on Tyneside, scoring 40 goals in the process.

There was a minute's applause at our last home game against Chelsea, but this Saturday the Club will continue the celebration of his life with Gary's wife Louise, family and friends all present at the match.

As Swansea City come to town, there are tributes from assistant manager John Carver and Premier League referee Mark Halsey in the matchday programme.

Prior to kick-off, a singer will lead the expected 50,000-plus crowd in a rendition of the famous Welsh hymn, Bread of Heaven.

While the hymn is sung supporters in the East Stand will be asked to hold up black and white cards which will depict the number 11, the shirt number Gary wore whilst at United. All supporters will be provided with hymn sheets at the turnstiles when they enter the ground in order to join in the singing.

Upon completion of the hymn, a minute's applause will be observed in memory of Gary.

Manager Alan Pardew said: "Louise and the family are coming and we are very conscious to make sure that we do everything in the correct and proper manner.

"We want to give his family a tribute that they can be proud of."