One of the good guys
Alan Smith spoke of his admiration for Gary Speed both on and off the football pitch.
Last Updated: 27/11/11 5:10pm
Sky Sports commentator Alan Smith has described the late Gary Speed as one of football's good guys.
Smith played against Speed on many occasions and said the news of his death at the age of 42, which was confirmed by the Football Association of Wales on Sunday morning, will devastate the football community.
And he told Sky Sports News HD that despite all of his success, Speed was never changed by fame or fortune.
"I'm absolutely devastated and stunned.
"I didn't profess to know him very closely as a friend, but I met him many times and played against him many times down the years.
"I remember early on when he was at Leeds and we won the title in 1991 and they took it off us the year after under Howard Wilkinson when they had a great team with Gary McAllister alongside Speedo and Gordon Strachan.
"He was a good friend of Gary Mac, who was an old team mate of mine at Leicester, and as a result we met each other socially a few times as well. He was an ordinary lad. He had no ego to him. Fame and fortune never changed him, his career never changed him and he was one of the good guys.
"When you get into your mid-thirties, football gets harder and harder, but he never seemed to lose the desire to get up in the morning and go training. He absolutely loved the game and he was never in danger of going out of it once he finished playing.
"He always wanted to manage and what he was doing with Wales was a testament to his ability. That's a difficult country to manage, but some of the results that he got in the last couple of games and the football they were playing suggests he was really taking the country places.
"The longevity of his career, the success that he had, the dedication that he showed and the fact that he went into management shows that football was his life, along with his family obviously.
"He was a true football person. We've lost a few over the last few years and 42-years-of age is no age at all."