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North East event cancelled in honour of Gary Speed

Football News 24/7
The North-East branch of the Football Writers' Association has postponed its annual awards dinner as a mark of respect to former Newcastle midfielder Gary Speed.

The FWA decided to call off the event, which was to take place at the Ramside Hall Hotel in Durham on sunday evening, following the announcement of Speed's death at the age of 42.

Speed made 285 appearances and scored 40 goals for Newcastle United during a six and a half-year spell on Tyneside. Only two players, Ryan Giggs and David James have made more Premier League appearances than Speed

A spokesman said: "The North-East football family is grieving today for a fine player and a model professional, and our thoughts are with Gary's family.

"We felt it was the right thing to postpone the dinner until a later date as a mark of respect.''

Earlier in the day the tributes poured in after Speed was found dead at his Cheshire home on Sunday morning. At one point it was thought the Swansea v Aston Villa game might be postponed as a mark of respect, but all concerned agreed that Speed would have wanted the game to go ahead. It was marked by a very poignant minutes silence, with several players, including Villa's Shay Given, who played with Speed at Newcastle and is a long time friend, in tears.

Everyone here at FTD would like to add their condolences to the growing list from across the soccer family.

JB

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