Leeds United legend is honoured again as a touching new mural is unveiled

A new mural dedicated to former Leeds United midfielder Gary Speed has gone up in Cardiff.

By Flora Snelson
Sunday, 19th June 2022, 6:00 am

Painted on the wall of a building just a stone's throw from the Cardiff City Stadium, the tribute recognises the contribution Speed made to the Welsh national team.

A huge portrait of the Speed's face next to text reading 'Only one Gary Speed', a chant once heard frequently in the stands at Elland Road, has gone up on the junction between Atlas Road and Leckwith Road in the Welsh capital.

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The new painting is located more than 200 miles from Bramley, where a mural honouring Speed's dazzling Leeds career was unveiled in April 2021.

Widely regarded as a Whites legend, the Leeds United academy product was part of the Howard Wilkinson side who lifted the First Division trophy in 1992 and scored 57 goals across 312 appearances in his time in West Yorkshire.

After significant spells at Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers, Speed retired from playing as the Welsh national side's most-capped outfield player in 2010.

Following a brief stint at the helm of Sheffield United, the Flintshire-born man took on the role of Dragons manager, bringing the side on leaps and bounds until he tragically died less than a year after taking charge of his first game.

Former Wales manager Gary Speed. Pic: Stu Forster.

Since his passing, Wales have qualified for two European Championships and earlier this month, the Dragons sealed a place at their first World Cup finals for 64 years - achievements whose roots lie in the brilliant work Speed did during his short time as Wales boss.

Dedicating Wales' Qatar 2022 qualifying play-off final victory over Ukraine to his late predecessor, current Dragons coach Robert Page said: “He started the culture. There was a change, the environment completely changed."

The new Speed mural is part of a project led by Unify, a group of local creatives who are hoping to encourage Cardiff residents to engage with their city and football.

Unify founder Yusuf Ismail said: "We felt there was not really a lasting tribute to the manager who was instrumental in what we are seeing with the Wales football team today.

The Gary Speed mural in Bramley. Pic: George Wood.

"We had hoped to have it ready before the Ukraine game but it is quite a complex undertaking, so it took a bit longer.

"But we hope it will be a lasting legacy for his family and his fans in his memory and also as a tribute to the Welsh team."