THE funeral of Leeds United great Gary Speed will take place later this week, the League Managers Association (LMA) has confirmed.
The private funeral and service will take place in Wales and will be for family and close friends. It is by invitation only.
But a public memorial service for the Wales national football team manager is being planned for the New Year.
A spokesman for the LMA said: “At this time, Louise Speed and her family wish to express their deep appreciation for the very generous and clearly heartfelt tributes paid to Gary and his memory by the public and all forms of the media.
“Mrs Speed is especially grateful for the sympathetic way that the media has respected the family’s privacy in these extremely distressing circumstances. She is also acutely aware how Gary touched the lives of so many people and that each of them would wish to thank him for the joy he brought to them.
“Accordingly, a memorial service to celebrate Gary’s life will take place soon and hopefully this will allow as many people to attend as wish to be there to pay their final respects and tributes to Gary.”
Speed, who played for clubs including Leeds, Sheffield United, Newcastle United and Bolton, was found hanged at his Cheshire home last month.
Any donations in his memory should be sent either to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation or the John Hartson Foundation.
Lady Elsie Robson expressed her gratitude for Mrs Speed’s request for donations to the foundation which she set up with her late husband in 2008.
Lady Elsie said: “I’m extremely touched by the request for donations in Gary’s memory to come to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation or John Hartson Foundation.
“To be thinking about other people like that at such a difficult time is incredible and I understand Louise believes it’s what Gary would have wanted.”
Speed supported the former England manager’s charity and raised more than £7,500 for it last year by running the London Marathon.
The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation raises funds for research into more effective treatments for cancer. Sir Bobby fought cancer five times over 17 years. Donate via www.sirbobbyrobsonfoundation.org.uk/contact-us and http://www.johnhartsonfoundation.com/contact.asp.