Lane remembers favourite son with tributes

Sheffield United to honour Gary Speed
Sheffield United to honour Gary Speed
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Sheffield United are planning a host of tributes to their former player and manager Gary Speed on Saturday.

Speed made his debut for the Blades on New Year’s Day 2008 and played out his final days on the pitch with the club. He also worked as a coach before succeeding manager Kevin Blackwell in August, 2010.

Speed left the club last December when he took up the post of national team manager of Wales.

The Blades’ FA Cup second-round tie with Torquay United on Saturday will be an emotional day for the club with a number of tributes planned.

They include:

a minute’s applause before kick-off;

invitations to former team-mates of Speed at Sheffield United to attend the fixture;

existing players to warm up in specially-designed shirts;

players and coaching staff will wear black armbands ;

Chris Morgan and ex-Welsh international Robert Page will lay wreaths pitch-side before kick-off;

a significant section of the matchday programme will be given over to memories of Speed.

Newcastle’s official programme on Saturday will carry a picture of Speed on the front cover, and contain a four-page tribute to their former midfielder.

Before kick-off, a singer will lead the crowd in a rendition of the Welsh hymn, Bread of Heaven.

The Welsh RFU will hold a minute’s silence before Wales’s match with Australia on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Professional Footballers’ Association are to extend the circulation of their booklet on handling depression and make it available to all 50,000 ex-professionals. The PFA sent out the 36-page booklet at the start of the season to their 4,000 members.