THE family of Gary Speed have asked for donations in his memory to be made to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation after announcing details of a private funeral.
The former Newcastle United’s star funeral will take place later this week, the League Managers Association (LMA) yesterday 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 Newcastle United, Sheffield United, Everton, Leeds 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, a charity set up by Speed’s former Wales colleague to raise awareness of testicular cancer.
Lady Elsie Robson has expressed her gratitude at Mrs Speed’s request for donations to the foundation which she set up with her husband in 2008.
Lady Robson 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.
“I’m very grateful and my thoughts will very much be with Gary’s family and friends on Friday.”
Speed supported the former England manager’s charity, for which he raised more than £7,500 last year by running the London Marathon.
The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation has ploughed more than £3.5m into the search for more effective treatments for cancer. Donations to the two charities can be made via www.sirbobbyrobsonfoundation.org.uk or www.johnhartsonfoundation.com