30 November, 2011

Fascinating final one-on-one Gary Speed interview:

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           Shortly before his suicide; Wales national team manager Gary Speed gave his final interview.  It was conducted with  "Four Four Two"  magazine's Andy Mitton at a Legends event in Barbados.  Mitton had never met Speed before but was suitably pleased with the 42 year-old's affability and lack of airs and graces.

           I have always thought there was something special about footballers who hold a special place in their heart for representing their national team.  The great Zinedine Zidane always maintained that his proudest achievement in football was  "The first time I played for France."  Speed similarly said his proudest moment in football was  "Captaining Wales was always the greatest honour."
           Gary Speed was the ultimate professional - as his record 535 Premier League appearances testifies.  He was also the ultimate family man as he testified when asked what his most treasured item was:  "Certainly nothing material.  I don't even know where my League Title medal from 1992 is.  My most treasured item would have to be my family.  We are an item and they mean everything to me."   Gary's death will continue to remain a mystery to all except those who knew him best - and maybe even them will be left in the dark as to why he took his life in such shocking circumstances.

Andy Mitten is the editor and founder of  "United We Stand"  magazine.  His other credits include the  "Independent" and the  "London Times".   He has interviewed footballers from Ronaldinho to Messi in more than 80 countries on every continent.
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