Ex-Newcastle midfielder Gavilan full of praise for late Speed

Former Newcastle United midfielder Diego Gavilan has heaped praise on the late Gary Speed.

The former Welsh midfielder and manager took his own life in November with the news of his death shocking many football followers around the globe.

One of those was ex-Paraguay international Gavilan who spent time with Speed at St James’ Park between 1999 and 2003.

"I was on holiday, I found out on Twitter… it was such a shock," he told Goal.com about hearing about the tragic death.

"I'll never forget that when I was called up to the 2002 World Cup… [Speed] came up to me and said 'Congratulations because you are one of three players to represent us at the World Cup with Shay Given and Kieron Dyer'.

"At that time I wasn’t used that much in the first team and that gesture by him to get up and go out of his way to congratulate me is something I’ll remember. He was an example as a professional, a person and a father."


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