Leeds United supporters raise money and mental health awareness at charity night in memory of Gary Speed

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Leeds United supporters donated over five hundred pounds in memory of Gary Speed whilst raising awareness for men's mental health.

Whites fanzine The Square Ball and the Leeds United Supporters Trust teamed up to hold a charity night in memory of the former Elland Road hero.

Speed - who made 312 appearances in LS11, scoring 57 goals - will forever be remembered for his role in the club's history, both on and off the pitch.

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Around two weeks ago marked 10 years since the Welsh midfielder's untimely passing, with his death coming as a shock to the football world back in 2011 - none more so than in West Yorkshire.

Speed was handed his professional debut at 19 by Leeds - after signing initial terms at 14 years of age - and went on to earn promotion to the top flight in 1990 after breaking into the team on a regular basis.

He was a crucial figure in helping Howard Wilkinson's men shock English football by helping United lift the old first division title just two years later in 1992.

The Square Ball and LUST - along with Andy's Man Club, a men's mental health charity - held 'An Evening To Remember Gary Speed' on Sunday night (December 5) which took place at Slung Low, Holbeck Working Men's Club.

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Over five hundred pounds was donated in Speed's memory to the Samaritans while Hayden Evans - long-time friend and Speed's former agent - was joined on stage by ex Leeds boss Simon Grayson.

Hayden Evans (left), Simon Grayson (middle) and Adam Pope (right) on stage during the Gary Speed remembrance evening. Pic: Paul BiltcliffeHayden Evans (left), Simon Grayson (middle) and Adam Pope (right) on stage during the Gary Speed remembrance evening. Pic: Paul Biltcliffe
Hayden Evans (left), Simon Grayson (middle) and Adam Pope (right) on stage during the Gary Speed remembrance evening. Pic: Paul Biltcliffe

BBC Radio Leeds commentator Adam Pope hosted the evening where supporters remembered their favourite Speed on-pitch moments whilst speaking openly about men's mental health.

Representatives from Andy's Man Club were also in attendance for anyone who had an interest in attending one of their groups across the city in future.

"It's good to talk," Evans told the YEP of the event.

"It can be a little bit difficult to talk about Gary but it's nice to let Leeds fans know that much more about him. They've seen him as a player, but maybe they didn't know what he was like as a lad and as a person.

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"It's great that Simon was here and they could hear some great stories about him from his career. It's just incredible the impact he has had on people, even 10 years on we're doing things like this.

"If we can keep remembering him, commemorating him and talking about Gary then hopefully it can bring a few more people into opening up and talking about anything they're potentially struggling with."

Paul O'Dowd, of The Square Ball, said: "On the tenth anniversary of Gary Speed's death, we felt it was important to remember his career and what he meant to Leeds fans."

The Samaritans can be contacted free at any time of day or night, call 116123 or email [email protected].

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