The National Football Museum have announced that Gary Speed will be one of nine 2017 inductees into their esteemed Hall of Fame as a tribute to the late Welshman’s exemplary career.
One of the most serially underrated players of the modern era, Speed made 841 appearances for five clubs, 535 of them coming in the Premier League, attaining bona fide fan favourite status at Leeds, Everton, Newcastle and Bolton in the meanwhile.
— Nat. Football Museum (@FootballMuseum) September 20, 2017
It’s easy, perhaps inevitable for memories of Speed to be laced with tragic sadness due to his heart-wrenching death in 2011, but as a central midfielder the man had it all in his heyday – the ability to pass, shoot, score, head, harass, tackle; the intelligence and application to control, hold possession, lead, marshal.
It almost sounds trivial to list fundamentals, but so rare is it to find any one single player who can offer such stability and drive in one fell swoop, and for the best part of two decades to boot. Speed was nigh-on complete.
As well as Speed, the National Football Museum are inducting nine further football luminaries today, including Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Billy Bonds, Bob Wilson, Kelly Smith, Rachel Yankey and England/Team GB Cerebral Palsy pioneer Alistair Patrick-Heselton.
There’s more information here if needed.