Leeds and Newcastle fans unite to pay touching tribute to Gary Speed

Next week marks five years since the former Wales midfielder’s tragic death.

Leeds United v Newcastle United - Sky Bet Championship - Elland Road Fans outside Elland Road. Nigel French Nigel French

THIS AFTERNOON SEES Leeds United and Newcastle United meet in the Championship at Elland Road, where there’s a full house in the league for the first time since 2011.

Two former heavyweights of English football, the clubs took the opportunity to remember a legendary ex-player before kick-off and also during the game itself.

Welsh midfielder Gary Speed spent eight years at Leeds and would later go on to carve out a career at St James’ Park after joining from Everton in 1998.

Retiring with 535 top flight games under his belt, Speed holds the record for fifth most league appearances in Premier League history.

Tragically, the then Wales manager took his own life at the age of 42 on 27 November 2011 — which will be five years ago next week.

Today, both sets of players marked the anniversary by wearing memorial Gary Speed t-shirts during the warm-up.

Leeds United v Newcastle United - Sky Bet Championship - Elland Road The Leeds players wearing t-shirts with Speed's face on them. Nigel French Nigel French

And all 36,000 supporters present stood to their feet to applaud Speed on the 11th minute as a tribute to his shirt number.

Gary Speed Elland Road Supporters applaud in the 11th minute. Facebook / LeedsUnited Facebook / LeedsUnited / LeedsUnited

On the pitch, two goals from the division’s top scorer Dwight Gayle handed the current league leaders the three points.

The first was an embarrassing gift from Leeds goalkeeper Rob Green.

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