Simon Grayson has urged his Leeds United players to win tonight's clash against Nottingham Forest for the memory of Gary Speed.
The 42-year-old former Welsh international dies tragically on Sunday morning to leave the football world in shock - particularly those clubs who the midfielder had served so well during a fantastic career.
It was with the Whites where Speed enjoyed his greatest success, the old First Division title in 1991/92, and Grayson admits a victory would be the perfect way to remember the perfect professional's time at Elland Road.
“It would be a fantastic and fitting way for us to remember Gary by managing to get three points," said Grayson ahead of the trip to the City Ground.
“Hopefully, my team can do Gary Speed justice in terms of how he produced performances for this football club. He’d have been doing exactly the same thing, preparing his team as thoroughly as possible for a game.
“Sunday was a difficult day and I won’t be the first to admit that I shed a tear when I got the news. But you’ve got to get your professional head on because Gary would have wanted us to do that."
Grayson held a particularly close bond with Speed, as the pair both signed for Leeds United as 14-year-old's on the same day during the 1980s.
The current boss is happy to admit that Speed enjoyed a much brighter career as a player, and will be long-remembered by the club's loyal supporters for his time in Yorkshire before moves to Everton, Newcastle, Bolton and Sheffield United.
“He was a (special) person more than a professional footballer, although he was one of the best to come out of the Premier League. He was respected by every football club he played at and by every opposition," Grayson added.
“When you look back, Gary was part of a quartet in that ’92 title-winning team that will go down as one of the best quartet’s this club has produced. McAllister, Speed, Batty and Strachan – not just Leeds United fans can tell you that midfield, but those who don’t support Leeds, which speaks volumes.”
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