12 Jan 2002: David Batty of Leeds tries to tackle Gary Speed of Newcastle during the Newcastle United v Leeds United FA Barclaycard Premiership match at St James's Park, Newcastle. DIGITAL IMAGE Mandatory Credit: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Newcastle fans pay tribute to Gary Speed on day of 50th birthday

Newcastle hero Gary Speed would have turned 50 on Sunday, and will always be remembered by fans for his combative, cultured displays in the black and white shirt.

Speed made 213 appearances for the Toon, scoring 29 goals during that time, and was one of Sir Bobby Robson’s ‘blue-chip’ players, along with the likes of Alan Shearer, Rob Lee and Warren Barton.

(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

His partnership with Lee was something Steve Bruce would love to see emulated by Sean Longstaff and Isaac Hayden, but they have a very long way to go before they get anywhere near that level.

RONALDO NEEDS TO STOP WHINING.

The ultimate professional, Speed also played 85 times for the Welsh national side, and you never heard him complaining about defeats or being dropped from the side.

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

He also went on to manage the Welsh side, of course, before his life tragically ended in 2011.

Hopefully Speed’s death has helped others struggling

The events around the midfielders death are well documented, with the Guardian reporting during the inquest, that the coroner could not determine that there was enough evidence to say whether his death was intentional or accidental.

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

But Speed’s wife, Louise, hopes his death may help others struggling with thoughts of ending their life, by describing to the Mirror the torment she suffered.

But he will always be seen as a hero to the Newcastle supporters, and they were quick to show their affection for Speed on social media.

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