Blackwell recalls Speed friendship

PA Sport
Kevin Blackwell (right) and Gary Speed

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Kevin Blackwell (right) and Gary Speed

Former Sheffield United manager Kevin Blackwell is struggling to come to terms with the news of Gary Speed's death.

Speed, 42, handed his first role in coaching under Blackwell at the South Yorkshire club, was found dead at his home in Cheshire on Sunday morning.

Blackwell, later replaced by Speed as Blades manager, told Sky Sports News: "I just can't get it into my head that this situation's occurred."

He added: "When Speedo came to the end of his playing career, he was playing exceptionally well for us at the time. To lose him was a big blow and we were trying like hell to get him back.

"It just wasn't happening so I said 'Speedo it's time now, let's get you across to coaching' and he was brilliant. He took it with both arms and I was proud to give him that opportunity.

"We were very close, myself, (coach) Sam Ellis and Speedo. We were 'The Three Musketeers'. He was a terrific coach and a great player and an absolutely first-class person."

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