TODAY (November 27, 2021) marks the 10th anniversary of Gary Speed's tragic death.

The 42-year-old former Hawarden High School pupil and Aston Park Rangers player was Wales manager when he took his own life.

Clubs and players across the country have paid tribute to 'Speedo' a decade on from the tragedy that shook the footballing community.

While his close friends and family continue to mourn his loss, the anniversary of that darkest day provides an opportunity to celebrate the decade of success that has followed his passing. Success that will ultimately define his legacy.

The outpouring of love that followed in the subsequent days and weeks of 27 November 2011 will not be forgotten. Mancot-born Speed wasn't just a Welsh football legend, but a hero at Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield United, and he was without doubt one of the true great players of his era.

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A talented midfielder who played almost 950 games for club and country, Speed represented Cymru with an unwavering passion and pride during his 85 appearances with the dragon on his chest.

Like many great Welsh players of his era, Speed never made it to the finals of a major tournament. But he did much more. His legacy will forever live in the achievement of reaching consecutive EURO finals in 2016 and 2020, while the 2022 World Cup dream remains very much alive.

Speed didn't live to see Wales compete on the biggest stage, but the professional culture and environment that he developed during his time as manager shaped the foundations for those who succeeded him.

Something echoed by current Welsh player, Joe Allen.

“A lot of the lads still talk about Gary, the influence he had on us as young players back when he was manager," he said.

“He revamped a lot of things, not just on the pitch but off it as well, and we’ve reaped the rewards of that.

“That’s one of the big reasons why Welsh football has been in such a healthy position over the past decade.”

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Speed spent just under two years as Wales manager having been appointed in December 2010.

Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey said: “I try not to (remember that day). I just try to remember when he was smiling and seeing him on the sideline.

“He was a great leader for us and used to speak so well. I honestly think that was the start of the path that made us successful and where we are today.

“He was an amazing manager and he deserves credit for that. Once he became the manager he started a different route for us.

“We were going in the right direction. It was so sad to hear the news and I still get choked up about it a little bit now.”

The Football Association of Wales has said: "Gary Speed will be forever missed, but he will also be forever loved and forever celebrated by those who continue to share his Cymru passion."

But as much as he's remembered for both his footballing and managerial excellence, he is fondly remembered for his character and personality.

Alan Shearer, the Newcastle United legend and former teammate of Speed, said: "Even now, it is impossible to compute.

"The Speedo I knew was happy, admired by everyone who came across him, which is pretty much unique in football. That smile – plastered across his face – was what I knew.

"But the Gary I knew also took his own life and the knowing and the not knowing are still devastating."