Super Furry Animals man Gruff Rhys also pays tribute to footballer
Stereophonics frontman Kelly Jones has recorded a tribute song for Wales football manager Gary Speed.
The singer has recorded a cover of Andy Williams‘ classic track ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ in honour of Speed, who was found dead in his home on November 27. The Football Association of Wales (FAW) later confirmed it appeared as if he had committed suicide.
The Sun reports that Speed’s widow has asked for the song to be played at his funeral, which takes place tomorrow (December 9), after Jones performed the number on a tribute show to the late footballer broadcast on BBC Wales.
It’s a great honour – I hope it is a fitting tribute to a great man.
He also spoke of his reaction to hearing of Speed’s death and revealed he broke down in tears, adding: “I was consumed. I could not get my head round it.”
“To put it into perspective, at least that of a football fan, it’s like losing a Pope or a president or a top sports star or something, but not from an illness or old age but from a suspected suicide at the height of their powers,” he wrote.
“It’s deeply shocking and mysterious. And there has been unprecedented, collective grief in Wales and beyond.”
Speed, who was born in Mancot, Flintshire, took over the Wales job in December 2010. He began his playing career at Leeds United and was part of the side that won the last Football League title in 1992, before the introduction of the Premier League.
Speed went on to play for Everton, Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield United and he won 85 caps for his country during a 14-year international career.