Tony Dorigo recalls Gary Speed memories as giant mural of former Leeds United team mate is unveiled

TONY Dorigo says the giant mural of his former Leeds United team mate Gary Speed evokes memories of a great player but moreover a wonderful human being.

Monday, 5th April 2021, 5:45 am

Full back Dorigo and winger Speed starred down the left flank for Leeds and Dorigo was present to help officially unveil the stunning artwork of his former colleague in Bramley on Sunday morning.

In doing so, Dorigo provided a lovely tribute to his former team mate and recalled his first memories of a player who would prove his partner down the left hand flank.

Looking up at the huge mural painted by artist Claire Bentley-Smith and commissioned by the Leeds United Supporters Trust, Dorigo told the YEP: "I think it's brilliant, absolutely fantastic.

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GLOWING TRIBUTE: From former Leeds United left back Tony Dorigo, pictured in front of the giant Gary Speed mural in Bramley. Picture by Steve Riding.

"It brings back so many nice memories and it is really pleasing to know that everybody still remembers him, thinks fondly of him and this just reminds of us what a great player he was.

"But more so for me, it is all about remembering the person that he was and that's what is most prevalent for me.

"As soon as I see Speedo like that with the arm in the air I remember so many different things because he played in front of me.

"When I came to Leeds I was 25 and he was 21 and you think he is a young lad.

"But he was a heck of a player and he wanted to learn so much and he would talk to me or ask me so many questions about where would I want him to be positioned in front of me if this happens and this happens.

"I was thinking 'this isn't normal, this is brilliant!'

"If I was up against someone who was six foot tall I would say 'Speedo, I'm not going to beat him in the air, I need you in there' - and he would do it!

"I would think 'my God, this guy is fantastic' and of course there was his ability and technique but he also had the right attitude too.

"It brings back so many really nice memories.

"Everyone that knew Gary or who came across Gary knew what a wonderful human being he was and of course I met his parents numerous times as well.

"He has left an incredible legacy but for his mum and dad and wife and kids, thinking of what they have missed is just horrendous so you keep thinking of that as well.

"I thought of all the people that could happen to, Speedo would be right at the bottom of that list because he was so sensible and he had everything.

"But you just don't know do you so it makes you think in lots of different ways.

"What is for sure is that he touched so many people in so many different ways and it is just lovely to remember that."

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Thank you Laura Collins