Leeds United: Leeds and Newcastle fans will unite to remember former player Gary Speed
Leeds United and Newcastle United will stage a minute's applause during Sunday's Championship match at Elland Road in honour of the late Gary Speed.
Members of Speed’s family plan to attend this weekend’s fixture as Leeds and Newcastle pay tribute to their former player who died at the age of 42 in 2011.
The two clubs have called on their supporters to applaud in the 11th minute in recognition of the number 11 shirt worn by Speed at Elland Road and St James Park. The midfielder earned his place in Leeds folklore by playing a leading role in team who won the first division title in 1992.
Speed made more than 300 appearances for United before joining Everton in 1996. Newcastle signed him two years later for a fee of £5.5m and Speed remained on Tyneside until 2004, playing in the most recent league match staged between Newcastle and Leeds at Elland Road – a 2-2 draw in 2003.
The fifth anniversary of Speed’s death falls on November 27 and a statement from Leeds said: “Members of the Speed family will be in attendance at Elland Road on Sunday.
“In the 11th minute of the match we ask supporters of both Leeds United and Newcastle United to join together in a minute’s applause as we near the fifth anniversary of Gary’s passing.”
Sunday’s meeting between Newcastle, the Championship’s leaders, and sixth-placed Leeds has attracted a capacity crowd to Elland Road for the first time in almost six years.
Garry Monk’s side go into the televised game on the back of a dramatic win at Norwich City which moved them into a play-off place before the international break.
Monk’s players began the build-up to Newcastle’s visit at Thorp Arch yesterday and the club are continuing to assess Eunan O’Kane’s fitness after the midfielder returned early from Republic of Ireland duty with a groin strain. He is understood to have missed yesterday’s training session.
Leeds, meanwhile, hope to welcome Pontus Jansson and Chris Wood home unscathed after international appearances in the past 24 hours. Centre-back Jansson started for Sweden in a friendly against Hungary in Budapest last night while striker Wood completed 90 minutes of New Zealand’s World Cup qualifier against New Caledonia.