Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

Speed's back-handed compliment

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Gary Speed is dead and it is a shocking event. God rest his soul.

A lot of people, including many Evertonians, are saying how honourable he was when he left us.

He said he wouldn't say why he was leaving "because it would bring down the good name of of Everton FC".

What the heck is that supposed to mean?

By saying that, he has left a question mark hanging over the "good name of EFC".

I don't pretend to know what the dispute was about, but it seems to me Gary got his retaliation in first without ever having to explain what he was talking about.

The club, to my knowledge, never made any comment... saying they wouldn't reveal the reason for fear of damaging his good name.

Does anyone know what this "controversial reason" was?

Domino Darkley, Liverpool     Posted 28/11/2011 at 17:11:41

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Simon Atkins
1   Posted 28/11/2011 at 19:48:24

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Domino, I have got to question the timing of this post.

The man is dead, two kids have lost their father and a wife her husband. Who gives a toss why he left us? In the scheme of things does it really matter one jot?
Peter Healing
2   Posted 28/11/2011 at 19:55:23

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ditto to Simons post
Wayne McNee
3   Posted 28/11/2011 at 19:55:04

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This is harsh!

It's not something anyone gave a shit about anymore anyway, even less so now that the poor family is suffering. Whatever the reason, it was worth it for the "oooooo Gary, Gary ..." chant!

R.I.P.
Moderators.... I don't think this should've scraped in IMO.
Nathan O'Hagan
4   Posted 28/11/2011 at 20:01:28

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Anything even remotely connected to football is irrelevant when two youn boys have lost their dad, and a wife lost her husband. Shame on you for even bringin it up. Yes, I have an idea what he was referrin to, but I won't dignifiy this post with a direct response.
Mike Litherland
5   Posted 28/11/2011 at 20:02:44

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I heard he was told not to get on the coach to the West Ham game as he was dropped, then later it was claimed he refused to travel. He denied this but wouldn't elaborate. I don't know how true this was but as the others say, What's it matter now?
Matthew Lovekin
6   Posted 28/11/2011 at 20:09:25

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Does it matter why he left or who was responsible?

There are more important things than football.
Eugene Ruane
7   Posted 28/11/2011 at 20:12:14

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Sigh.
Joe McMahon
8   Posted 28/11/2011 at 20:11:14

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Domino, I have to agree with Simon & Peter, in the end it doesn't matter now. The timing of your post is a disgrace. Gary's sadly just died that's the only thing that's important. It seems to me he was a wonderful man, can we just leave it at that?
Ted Smeethes
9   Posted 28/11/2011 at 20:18:42

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Domino, it doesn't matter, it really doesn't. Football's a game, nothing more, nothing less. Let it be.
James Flynn
10   Posted 28/11/2011 at 20:17:30

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I wonder if all the concussions, undiagnosed and untreated, that pro soccer players suffer had anything to do with it.

RIP Brother. Reading the outpouring of respects in here and all other media, you're a fellow who left his impression on your world.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
11   Posted 28/11/2011 at 20:14:03

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It seems there are those who want to talk about this and there are those who don't. Some who care about what went on and some who don't. As with all our threads, we can already see the extremes on both sides that verge on intolerance of the opposite view, which I think is a sad result on such a sad occasion. I'd say "Live and let live"... but that would be obviously trite.

However, there is an opportunity here for those who don't wish to discuss it for them to turn away and refrain. That would indeed be an appropriate gesture of respect, if that is the way you feel.

Since it has been mentioned in a number of the many published tributes paid to the man, should those who wish to discuss it be denied by those who don't? We don't all greive the same way; please don't use those differences as a reason to turn on each other.

If it helps, perhaps you could think of it as part of the grieving family of Evertonians trying to come to terms with an episode of a life they remember well, that is now lost... a mystery that either might be solved or that will be carried forever to the grave.
Daniel McClure
12   Posted 28/11/2011 at 20:34:56

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This website quite often publishes negative articles about the club/team etc but this just takes the biscuit. I feel embarrassed for you writing this the day after the man killed himself. Regardless of the reason why he left he never once dragged the club through the dirt. That's irrelevant though.
Alex Kociuba
13   Posted 28/11/2011 at 20:33:25

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Michael, I think people are questioning the taste and decency of the post. Lets down Toffeeweb a bit, especially anyone from 'outside' viewing this.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
14   Posted 28/11/2011 at 20:42:00

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Let me try that again. It's an issue that has been raised in numerous tributes published by the great and the good. There is no disrespect involved. Can we please try to be less hasty to judge others?
GJ Butler
15   Posted 28/11/2011 at 20:51:18

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Domino, extract from The Guardian:
He was also that rare thing in modern sport, a man of principle. He left one of his clubs after having been required to give a half-time talk, as captain, in place of his manager, whom drink had rendered temporarily incapable of speech. The fans of the club in question were mystified by his departure, but he had signed a confidentiality agreement and never spoke of the incident.
RIP Gary Speed
Michael Mcloughlin
16   Posted 28/11/2011 at 21:01:33

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Hi here is a link which should explain the departure of Gary Speed from Everton.
http://www.nufc.com/html/speed-house.html
Dave Wilson
17   Posted 28/11/2011 at 20:25:30

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Too many people know why he left us for it to remain a mystery.

The Goodison faithful will get their chance to pay respect on Sunday, The club let him down, its now up to the fans can give him his rightful place.

Garry Speed, true Evertonian.

R I P son.
James Flynn
18   Posted 28/11/2011 at 20:54:02

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Michael (11 & 14) - Agreed. I've only come in to EFC these last couple years and didn't even know who Speed was. Seeing repeated reference to the circumstance of his departure from Goodison had me searching for what happened.

Perhaps Domino's, "but it seems to me Gary got his retaliation in first without ever having to explain what he was talking about" might have been worded a little differently to take out the accusatory tone, intended or not.

And Gents, he did open with a 1st line I took as no less heart-felt than anyone elses.
Karl Masters
19   Posted 28/11/2011 at 21:10:57

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I reckon 90% of us over the age of 30 know why he left - a very low point in a very low season where a once great Club and its manager hit rock bottom.

But, I agree, who cares? I always thought what a nice fella he seemed when you saw him as a pundit on TV. He was a gifted player who maintained astonishing fitness levels over nearly 20 years as a pro and was just starting to make an impression for Wales as Manager. I had him down as one to watch for the day when Moyesie finally goes.

But overall, my biggest feeling is one of sadness especially for his children and family who will probably be blaming themselves and wondering what made him do it.

We don't really need to rake over the unsavoury reasons for his departure do we?
Michael Kenrick
20   Posted 28/11/2011 at 21:23:27

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As I've explained, Karl, it's a question some Evertonians are asking.

Apparently some know the answer; some don't want to know the answer... and some don't want anyone else asking or answering.

Despite my reasonable request for tolerance and understanding of other people's concerns for what happened, some of the later group are becoming very abusive, which is totally uncalled for, and I have had to remove their posts.

Let's have some respect, please!

Michael Mcloughlin
21   Posted 28/11/2011 at 21:29:37

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Oh Gary, Gary.....

Ever wondered why the Everton Fans dislike Speed SO much?

NB: The following piece was written while Gary Speed was a Newcastle player and over eight years before his sudden and tragic passing in 2011.

After some consideration, we've elected to leave this available online, content that there's nothing there that would reasonably cause distress or discomfort to anyone reading it:

With our annual trip to Everton now imminent, NUFC.com thought that the time had finally come to air one particular Goodison-related old wives tale that continues to vex us.
As sure as night follows day, Goodison Park will reverberate to the sound of a familiar chant: "Oh Gary Gary, Gary Gary Gary Sh*thouse Speed."

While nobody expects the level of reception that Les Ferdinand gets at SJP to be repeated for all returning ex-players, there's normally a valid reason when a former darling of the crowd becomes the target of such terrace bile.

Think of Paul Ince at West Ham after his Manchester United cross-dressing moment while still a Hammer, or more pertinently the lack of booing or derision that accompanied a return visit by Andy Cole, until he was caught by the TV cameras in his infamous rendition of "cheer up Kevin Keegan..."

Speed's crime was not that the lifelong Evertonian spurned the captaincy and chose to walk away from his boyhood heroes in early 1998. Even the most clueless Blue was pragmatic enough to realise that their massive debts had to be serviced by the departure of big names for big prices. Hence the warm reception afforded to Duncan Ferguson when he returned to the blue half of Merseyside in a black and white shirt in March 2000.

No, Speed's crime was to mysteriously fail to turn up for the coach taking Everton to an away game at West Ham in January 1998, an act that could be deemed out of character for a player who has never been newsworthy due to off-field antics and is considered enough of an example to captain his country.

Having been bothered by this apparent blot on his copybook, we took the opportunity of asking the player himself one night when he was out on the Quayside.

When asked whether it bothered him that he was Public Enemy number one at Goodison, Speed shrugged his shoulders in a gesture of resignation but was happy to give us this version of events.

You may recall that the deal that brought him to Tyneside was somewhat protracted, with miserable Kenny making an initial bid of £5m in late January 1998 - the week before Everton were due to play at West Ham. Upon receipt of the bid from Newcastle, Blues boss Howard Kendall informed Speed of the bid, but confirmed it was insufficient. He also told the player that he thought Newcastle would come back with an improved sum, which would be accepted by the Goodison board.

Aware of the financial plight of Everton and keen to join NUFC, Speed willingly went along with Kendall's request to do things "his way" and complied when the manager told him not to report for the trip to West Ham as Howard thought he "wouldn't be in the right frame of mind to play."

Imagine his surprise later that evening, when Speed checked teletext for the final score and saw a story quoting Kendall as being furious with Speed for his 'no show' and publicly vowing to rid himself of this trouble maker forthwith.

Not surprisingly Speed sought out Kendall to ask him what the hell he was
playing at lying to the press and blackening his reputation. Kendall's
response was that it was easier to placate the Goodison faithful, sell Speed, and bank the money if Speed looked like he was in dispute, refusing to play and therefore forcing the hand of the club.

To complete the stitch-up, it was suggested that any hint of the events that had unfolded appearing in the press would see the Newcastle switch collapse, leaving the player to face the wrath of the Goodison crowd.

Speed finally joined Newcastle in a £5.5m deal on 6th February 1998, and was greeted by the afore-mentioned song when he returned to Goodison later that month. He's been hearing it ever since.

Howard Kendall left Everton in July 1998, after 11 wins in 42 games.

We'll leave the final word to the excellent Toffeeweb Everton website (unofficial, of course...)

"Evertonians should not fool themselves: Gary Speed is an accomplished and effective attacking midfielder. His inexplicable disillusionment and departure represent a tremendous loss to the club.

"This miserable episode should not be casually attributed to some insatiable avarice on Gary's part: he was a true blue Evertonian. Something made it impossible for him to stay at Goodison. What that was, we may never really know."

Biffa

James McPherson
22   Posted 28/11/2011 at 21:29:30

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Michael Kenrick,

My post was direct - direct at you and questioning decency and taste of this thread continuing.

No language.

I then ask why the post was removed - no response and this in turn is removed.

Leave my post on - let other people judge.
Michael Mcloughlin
23   Posted 28/11/2011 at 21:32:00

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Good mention for Toffeewebs truth hunters
Karl Masters
24   Posted 28/11/2011 at 21:29:54

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In can't be at Goodison on Sunday, but I hope those of you that are give him a great tribute.

I always remember the minute's applause for Brian Labone versus WBA in 2006. It was as spectacular in its own way as the night against Bayern Munich.

He was obviously a man of principles and respect was clearly one of them. I know you'll all do him proud!
Chris Taylor
25   Posted 28/11/2011 at 21:33:06

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Michael, post 21.

Well, there it is, a very believable post on the NUFC website. I certainly believe it. Now let's let the lad rest in peace.

The thread for this should never had started in the first place.
Chris Taylor
26   Posted 28/11/2011 at 21:37:04

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Well done, Michael Mc, for copying and pasting a very interesting article on a very genuine and articulate man.
Michael Winstanley
27   Posted 28/11/2011 at 21:38:10

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This subject has been covered in other threads. I agree with the above, it shouldn't have been posted.
Bob Skelton
28   Posted 28/11/2011 at 21:40:24

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Poor post....Michael do you know what moderator means?? Kicking a ball about and dragging up irrelevant tittle tattle from years back is totally irrelevant at this time.

Have a small modicum of respect to a fellow human being and his distraught family.

RIP Gary
Paul Gladwell
29   Posted 28/11/2011 at 21:47:48

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Michael, you said show some respect, well this thread doesn't.
Simon Atkins
30   Posted 28/11/2011 at 22:00:49

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Michael your posts are some very poor attempts at justifying the original article.

Within this article there is a not so subtle dig at a man, a father, a son and an Evertonian who has just taken his own life in the most extreme circumstances.

Do we really care for the reasons why he left us in the first place? Debate it all you want if he was still with us but with his tragic death surely comes the time to put this particular subject to bed.

I agree with what this forum stands for in the main and also encourage freedom of expression but tonight Michael you have made an error when exercising your editorial discretion.
James McPherson
31   Posted 28/11/2011 at 22:10:17

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Michael Kenrick,

Seems I am not alone in questioning your judgement.

Somewhat incongrous that you let it run in the name of free speech (dubious credibility around that) yet you removed my post, which I agree was vociferous and direct, to registering my utter dismay at this thread even commencing.

Please, just ask yourself, outsider looking in seeing the headline, 24 hrs on from this most tragic event, "Speed's backhanded compliment". Do you really think people will see the value of free speech, or just leave with a sense of disgust and incredulity that people could be so crass.

We are Everton. This is patently not.
Ciarán McGlone
32   Posted 28/11/2011 at 22:28:43

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What a fuckin idiotic article. Football is at times irrelevant. You should learn that.

Great player and clearly had the makings of a great manager.

Having watched football focus on Saturday, you really never can tell what's goin on inside a persons head.

Poor sod.
Dan Brierley
33   Posted 28/11/2011 at 22:32:24

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I don't think anybody is questioning the content. Its purely about being humane, and respecting that there are certain times to discuss things, and certain times not to. The man hasn't even been buried yet for fucks sake, and yet we have those wanting to start an inquest into why he left a football club 13 years ago. Truly shocking.
Danny Broderick
34   Posted 28/11/2011 at 22:40:39

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Dan Brierley,

You hit the nail on the head. There is eternity to discuss such issues. This week should be all about Gary Speed & his family.

RIP Gary Speed.
Paul Brierley
35   Posted 28/11/2011 at 22:42:11

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I too am very disappointed that we are discussing this topic whilst the man has not even been buried.

Is this all we have to talk about or does this play into the constant negative posts that the Editorial team wish to air?

Fair play to admin this site but honestly lads it gets more depressing by the day.
Rob Murphy
36   Posted 28/11/2011 at 22:42:39

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Christ Almighty "Toffeemoan" has sunk to a new low tonight. Shameful post.
Gerard Carey
37   Posted 28/11/2011 at 22:34:56

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This post should finish now, let Gary rest in peace. He was obviously a man of great character both in the way he played and in the way he had started to manage.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
38   Posted 28/11/2011 at 22:32:02

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I'm taken aback by the reaction of many of you to this thread. Okay, this guy Domino Darkley may not have worded the original post in the most respectful manner, but that does not justify the kind of vitriolic abuse and self-righteous pomposity some of you have posted, which is a lot worse than any issue with the original post, and which I have removed in a vain attempt to prevent this from going downhill.

The underlying mystery remains for some who weren't privy to the full reasons for Gary Speed's departure from the club, and who are clearly confused by the double-talk it resulted in ? at least that's how I read the original post. Some apparently do know the reasons... why can't they be shared here so that this can be put to bed once and for all?

I can understand why some personally don't want to talk about it but I can't understand why you would want to shout down such a request from others. The internet gives us all the freedom to not talk or read about something if that is your wish. I requested you to refrain if it wasn't something you wanted to talk about, but it seems you could not do that, which I think is a pity.

I just don't think it is reasonable to deny the honest enquiry of others looking for closure to this issue on what is a very sad day for all of us. I can't be the only one who finds it distressing that some of you have made such an argument out of this.
Dan Brierley
39   Posted 28/11/2011 at 22:56:25

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Just purely about the timing Michael. Right now, I dont think many of us actually care about the reason he left Everton. The poor fella was so messed up he took his own life. To me, that makes anything about why he left Everton pale into insignificance...
Aiden Jones
40   Posted 28/11/2011 at 22:59:45

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Michael - if you can't see why this wiill be seen by many as offensive and just plain wrong then you are clearly not fit to edit this site. To hide behind an excuse about internet freedom is inexcusable.
Graham Fylde
41   Posted 28/11/2011 at 23:05:20

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Michael .............'self-righteous pomposity' - please tell me you're using that phrase ironically.
Paul Brierley
42   Posted 28/11/2011 at 23:06:16

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Michael I thought it was obvious that we have spoken and we want this post removed, internet freedom? More like your big ego.

As for "I requested you to refrain if it wasn't something you wanted to talk about, but it seems you could not do that, which I think is a pity".

Problem here Michael is that I do not wish for you to associate Everton or Everton Fans with such an ill timed post and I for one think THAT is a PITY that YOU can not see how wrong this is.

John Shaw
43   Posted 28/11/2011 at 23:00:12

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Here's an idea Domino, in future before posting anything from that small narrow mind of yours try to engage the brain before opening your mouth. The simple fact is, a lifelong Evertonian and exceptional servant during his time at the club was in such a dark place that he took his own life yesterday at the ridiculous age of 42. He left a wife and two young boys without a husband and father, so frankly, I really don't give a flying fuck what the club did to make him leave you tosser. Maybe a better question is this - of all the people who have commented in the last 36 hours on the sad passing of Gary Speed, why have we not heard from his manager while at Everton, Howard Kendall? Get a life, tit!
Mike Rourke
44   Posted 28/11/2011 at 23:08:58

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@ Kenrick

You say

"this guy Domino Darkley may not have worded the original post in tne most respectful manner" and yet, as editor, you still allowed it through...

Pathetic.
Nick Armitage
45   Posted 28/11/2011 at 23:11:56

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Dave Wilson

You hit the nail in the head, "The club let him down." They did in a cowardly and selfish way.

The only person to walk away from that sorry episode with their head held high was Gary Speed.

Once a blue always a blue.
Anthony Manning
46   Posted 28/11/2011 at 22:57:48

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Michael, the timing of this post stinks, so you can cut out all this free speach rubbish now. Do the decent thing and end this thread immediatly, if not then shame on you.
Seamus Murphy
47   Posted 28/11/2011 at 23:12:46

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I think the timing of this article is undoubtedly not good.

That said, I agree with Michael. I don't see why people are deciding that nobody else can talk about it. It's not like talking about it is in any way putting Gary Speed down, quite the opposite in fact.
The whole saga that Domino asked about actually showed that he was shafted by the club.

If more people had known about it then perhaps the morons wouldn't have sang Gary "shithouse" Speed with such venom at Goodison Park. I always was embarrassed to hear our fans sing that so loudly every time he came back. Same as singing about Steve Gerrards baby. That's the kind of shit that really shows this club up in a bad light, not asking a question on an Internet forum.
James McPherson
48   Posted 28/11/2011 at 23:21:39

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Michael Kenrick,

You say "you are taken aback by the reaction".

What else needs to be said about the space you are in.

It's those alien concepts: decency and respect.



Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
49   Posted 28/11/2011 at 23:18:50

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The thread is going downhill because barely 24 hours after we learned of Gary Speed's death, we're dissecting a 13 year-old issue that the man himself chose not to discuss out of respect and some readers of this website are (understandably in my view) upset at the rather crass timing.

Just because a discussion can be aired, doesn't mean it should, at least not right now.

James McPherson
50   Posted 28/11/2011 at 23:26:21

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Seamus,

Don't think anybody is questioning the content....just the bloody timing.

Do you not get that?

I am embarrassed that this even got going.

Only Michael Kenrick can address that.
Alex Kociuba
51   Posted 28/11/2011 at 23:30:48

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And nice one Seamus for calling 90% of the Goodison crowd morons!

Michael, I'd say time to bin this article and we all forget it ever happened.
James McPherson
52   Posted 28/11/2011 at 23:30:34

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Lyndon,

You say "going downhill". That infers it started out on the right track. Should never of even got near the board.

Perhaps of course you meant the site is going downhill...

Michael Kenrick
53   Posted 28/11/2011 at 23:32:29

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If timing is the issue, and not content, why was it okay for newspaper pundits to refer to it in their tributes? Yet leave it hanging?

Surely it's something that should be resolved ? his hugely untimely and tragic death brought the issue back into sharp focus for some people.

There is no reason why they should be castigated in this shameful way for asking a reasonable question now about the manner of his departure that is very salient to our memory of him as a player.

If what Seamus said is correct, then would that not exhonerate Gary Speed completely for what went down 13 years ago? And it would certainly enhance our memory of him as indeed a great man wronged by the club and the crowd they successfully manipulated, and show that Domino's take on the events is wrongly skewed.

I honestly would have thought people would be in favour of establishing that...
Dominic Buckley
54   Posted 28/11/2011 at 23:44:47

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Michael give it a rest; looks like you're trying to dig yourself out of a hole.

Poorly judged and disrespectful. Just let it go.
Graham Fylde
55   Posted 28/11/2011 at 23:43:53

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It's remained unresolved for 13 years, it isn't going to be resolved here. Get over yourself and knock the thread on the head. Eugene's response at 7 epitomized this thread very early on.
Seamus Murphy
56   Posted 28/11/2011 at 23:44:31

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James - I do get that, and I agree. I said so in my first sentence. I just don't agree that it should not be discussed.

Alex - I did not call 90% of our fans morons.
Michael Kenrick
57   Posted 28/11/2011 at 23:59:20

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No Dominic, I'm not letting that pass. I'm reasserting that it was a valid question; I'm rejecting the timing arguement. I'm saying it's something some of us would like to see resolved.

And Graham, the question has remained unasked for most of that time. Surely now is the most appropriate time for it to be answered, honestly and unambiguously ? and in doing so, to clear a dead man's name.

Gary Speed was no Shithouse. Yet that's what he was called by many Evertonians when he left the club. I believe that was a huge travesty and I think it should be rectified now, so that he can be laid to rest in peace.
Anthony Manning
58   Posted 28/11/2011 at 23:49:19

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Michael, the majority of us posting tonight have asked you to remove this thread as most of us think the timing and content is innapropriate. Anyone who thinks a 13 year old football argument is still important when the player involved has just took his own life saddens me to the core. Do the decent thing and end this one.
Domino Darkley
59   Posted 29/11/2011 at 00:02:52

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Seamus and the two Michaels. Thank you.

I have been mystified since yesterday as to what happened when he left here.

All day long on 5 Live and talkSPORT people have been saying about his refusal to talk about why he left EFC because it woud harm the "good name" of the club.

To me, that leaves something hanging in the air and I thought I would pose the question on here to see if I could be enlightened.

Anyone who was at Goodison when Gary returned with his subsequent clubs will know he was a hate figure among the fans because of the controversy over his departure..

I expressed my condolences at the outset and then tried to find out what happened.

I was quite surpised at the hostility, the downright nastness indeed, of the majority of replies.

Some of you even went as far as to request the post be deleted.

Such control freakery. Did you people subscribe to Pravda?

But the wider issue is this mawkish sentimentality which has gripped the people of this contry since August 1997.

Vicarious grief since Diana died.

The way some of you folk are talking you would think you were kin to Gary Speed.

You aren't

Hang your heads in shame for trying to bully a fellow who politely asked a question which has been puzzling quite a few Evertonians since yesterday.

Again, thanks to the guys who shed some light on the matter.



Michael Kenrick
60   Posted 29/11/2011 at 00:11:23

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Anthony, I totally disagree with you and I think you are completely wrong on this.

The man was shafted by the club. The fans believed what they were told by the club and branded him a Shithouse.

I think for him to carry that to the grave, along with the other unspeakable demons that caused such an utter tragedy, is something that should be put right, if it can be.

It should have been put right while he was still alive... Hell, it really should never have been allowed to happen. But there are those who know the truth... or say they do. I think it should be heard, for the sake of this man's tortured soul.

It saddens me to the core that Evertonians should react in this way to those seeking the truth about a former player who has just taken his own life in such tragic and heart-rending circumstances.
Graham Fylde
61   Posted 29/11/2011 at 00:11:00

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Michael,

You've mentioned twice now that you'd like to see this issue 'resolved' - it can't be. Gary Speed was driven to take his own life and cannot add anything and, as a previous poster mentioned, Kendall has been absolutely silent over the past 36 hours and is unlikely to give us any answer. In the absence of either please explain how you think we can 'resolve' this issue - by conjecture, rumour, what?

Gareth Prytherch
62   Posted 29/11/2011 at 00:09:47

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Michael, your sense of self righteousness never ceases to amaze me.

Can I just clarify that what you're saying here is that it is OK to ask a question that many, many people think is in bad taste, let alone disrespectful to the memory of an ex Everton Captain. But it is not OK to say that you think it is distasteful and disrespectful?

Please go back to your incredibly patronising blue ink so that we can get the rules straight.

In my opinion, the timing of the question is at best distasteful. The question itself is irrelevant as the only person who ACTUALLY knows the answer was in such a dark place that he felt the only way out was to end his life.

Your question regarding tabloid journalists is probably the most crass of all by the way. Lazy journalism at best and also very disrespectful of Gary Speed's wishes

My thoughts and prayers go to the devestated family of Gary Speed and I hope that his wife and two boys are able to find a way to get through this most tragic time.

Oh, and by the way if you're going to set yourself up as the moral guardian of freedom of speech, stop deleting posts that disagree with you.

RIP Gary Speed
Jamie Sweet
63   Posted 29/11/2011 at 00:03:24

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I don't particularly see a problem in discussing why he left as I think the truth shows that Gary was a great man and a true blue.

My issue is with the tone of the original post. It is most disrespectful and should not have made it onto this site.

Even MK states that it wasn't worded in a respectful manner, and LL seems to suggest that this shouldn't be aired right now. Yet Domino Darkley's words remain there for all to see.

I agree with the majority of posters here. This is a real low point for toffeeweb.
Rob Teo
64   Posted 29/11/2011 at 00:19:08

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I have to agree that the timing of the post could be somewhat better, but I can also see the validity of some of the points raised by Michael and Domino.

What's really stunned me is the extent of the vitriol directed against Michael and Domino. Talk about respect to Gary Speed by not bringing up the issue. But to use that as a reason by which to have a go at bashing those who have asked (in a very polite and respectful manner, mind) a valid question? I mean, some of the comments have verged from defending the memory of Speed to taking potshots at Michael Kenrick and Domino. How is that honouring Speed's memory?

Much of the vitriol here seems to be based on the notion that we need to balance free speech with sensitivity to the memory of a dead man. Yet, presumably on the basis of free speech, it's ok to take potshots at those whom we disagree with on the basis of being sensitive to the memory of a dead man? Eh? How's that work?

Perhaps the best way to honour Speed's memory - if you strongly disagree with the contents and timing of this post - is to STOP posting, as you're simply adding fuel to the fire and perpetuating the lifespan of this post.
Nick Entwistle
65   Posted 28/11/2011 at 23:24:35

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If this post was followed by a normal discussion on the reasons why Garry Speed left Everton it would be more palatable than the cloying and all to ready R.I.P. sentiments that end up clogging message boards.

You turn on the radio and get a hefty dose of reality and then start reading message boards full of the 'He's now up there playing with Dixie and Ball' nonsense and you think are unimaginative nonsensical platitudes all he's worth to that individual, and that is more distasteful to me than this retrospective.

As Michael says, we don't all grieve in the same way. And the internet is no place to expect a uniformed response to anything, even death.
Domino Darkley
66   Posted 29/11/2011 at 00:31:59

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Mr Sweet: I think you should add "IMO" to that post because believe me, sir, there was no disrespect intended.

In your opinion, it mightn't have been "respectful" but your opinion isn't fact and you need to show less arrogance.
Anthony Manning
67   Posted 29/11/2011 at 00:20:49

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At the end of the day your in charge of this thread and having read every post on it your opinion is of a small minority. The only thing this thread is going to achieve is to get us all bickering with each other(which is all we seem to do these days) the man deserves more respect than that.
James Flynn
68   Posted 28/11/2011 at 23:52:33

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"Gary Speed is dead and it is a shocking event. God rest his soul".

That's Domino's opening to this post. The very first thing. What, you're saddened at the tragedy and he's not? Pack of phonies.

If you were genuinely offended this thread would've gone no further than the OP, my curiosity about what happened back then (I came in with Landon Donovan and had never heard of Speed) and really nothing else.

He asked a fair question. I'd have left out or re-worded the part "What the heck is that supposed to mean? By saying that, he has left a question mark hanging over the 'good name of EFC'". (Whatever your intent Domino, it does read accusatory and, so, insensitive).

But all of you who've leapt in with your supposed "self-rightous" indignation? How many of you were so indignant when Speed's name was being dragged through the mud by Evertonians at the time he left?

I'm listening.
Max Fine
69   Posted 29/11/2011 at 00:03:13

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I don't often agree with you Michael, but I'm with you on this one.

The OP's tone did make the sentiment of the thread sound a little salacious, but the over the top pious responses did more to fuel it than quell it. So well done you people. However, I'm glad I read to the beautifully written (copied and pasted) post by Michael Mcloughlin (21) as I had genuinely never heard that story before.

Having lost an immediate family member in similar circumstances myself, I would much rather read a legacy such as that posted by Mr Mcloughlin than the petty self-righteous bickering of people caught up in some kind of grief competition. And that's from personal experience.

RIP Gary
Jamie Sweet
70   Posted 29/11/2011 at 00:42:34

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Domino Darkley (if that really is your name), what is the difference between me saying the tone of your post is disrespectful, and your buddy Michael Kenrick saying that it wasn't worded in the most respectful manner?

The tone of it was poor in my opinion. Particularly lines 4 and 5. I'm surprised you seem completely ignorant of this fact.
Michael Kenrick
71   Posted 29/11/2011 at 00:34:43

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Graham: I doubt that the knowledge of this shameful episode is confined only to those two.

Gareth: I've never liked people using this website as a means to condemn others for discussing things they don't want to see being discussed. When these attempts to control the discussion become abusive, I remove them. "Self-righteous" and "patronising" gets you pretty close to the line; I am being neither.

My reference to journalists was specifically to David Prentice (The Echo), who mentioned but then side-stepped the issue as only he can, and Richard Williams (The Guardian), who elected to pretend anonymity. Yes, you're right: they are both tabloids, aren't they.

Jamie: I think you'll see from the tone, style and content of Domino's comment (#59) that his enquiry was genuine, if perhaps clumsily worded. I think his heart and his head are in the right place; he absolutely does not deserve this vile opprobrium from many of the commenters on this thread.

Rob: Spot on; some excellent points.

Nick. Agree 100%. I bow down to your forthight boldness and honesty at calling a spade a spade under these difficult circumstances. I could not have done that.
James Flynn
72   Posted 29/11/2011 at 00:43:25

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Kenrick, Lloyd - Very well done to post the OP. Good call.

Domino's wording might've left something to be desired, but he asked a fair question given the circumstances of Speed's departure from EFC.

Eric Myles
73   Posted 29/11/2011 at 01:45:30

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"the question has remained unasked for most of that time. Surely now is the most appropriate time for it to be answered, honestly and unambiguously ? and in doing so, to clear a dead man's name.

Gary Speed was no Shithouse. Yet that's what he was called by many Evertonians when he left the club. I believe that was a huge travesty and I think it should be rectified now, so that he can be laid to rest in peace."

Well said, Michael. I hope those that are at the match on Sunday and sang the 'Shithouse' song hold their heads in shame, or do the decent thing and don't go.
Owen De Asha
74   Posted 29/11/2011 at 02:03:50

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I truly fear for Everton FC at the moment, only 10 days ago I witnessed a scene in the Park End that filled me with so much hatred that I'm starting to question renewing my season ticket next year. An older gentleman (who had been silent all game) had obviously had enough of seeing Jagielka hoof the ball up the park and shouted "For god's sake son, keep it on the deck" to which some low-life fucking scaly of a lad replied with "What would you know you old cunt?!"

Fan's nowadays are as much to blame for ruining football as the constantly escalating finances.

I don't particularly like Liverpool, but to hear phrases like "Kopite cunt" and "Redshite twat" every week is just getting monotonous.

It took a professional footballer to take his own life for every football fan in the UK to wake up and realise that sometimes we put football on a pedestal, and even then it's only lasted the best part of 36 hours.

When I found out about Gary Speed my heart sank, he was my mum's favourite player and the first name I had on the back of an Everton shirt. RIP.
Paul Gladwell
75   Posted 29/11/2011 at 06:47:34

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Michael you have stated that you deleted certain post because of the abuse well alls I did was say from an outsiders point of view it makes us look like knobheads and no wonder this site gets so much bad press, did that warrant being took down? As for these lads questioning the people who booed,just remember there where thousands who never, this subject has been brought up before and in it I received a load of abuse for sticking up for Speed over Howard, but as I said in my now deleted post there is a time and a place to start dishing dirt.
Michael Brien
76   Posted 29/11/2011 at 08:07:34

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There are times when football and all its passions and rivalries and other issues pale into significance - I think that this is one of them. I was at Villa Park for the Semi Final with Norwich City. After being at the semi's in 69,71,77 & 80 the victories of 84,85,86 & 89 were brilliant. Except for the last one - and we all know why.

Coming out of Villa Park and travelling on the local train back to New Street Station was a strange experience - there were no songs of triumph - it was a sombre time. The rivalry with Liverpool, controversies of past years, they all faded into the background - with what was really important.

It is the same now - yes there are questions that need to be asked but now is not the time to ask them. It is as simple as that. A young man has died and a wife and children are left behind heartbroken. Let's respect that please - whatever your opinions of what happened in 1998.
Michael Brien
77   Posted 29/11/2011 at 08:18:38

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That should of course be ".... pales into insignificance....." I should have gone to Specsavers!!!!

Perhaps a mistake that may cause a smile or two!! In a sad time ? come on people some of the name calling is out of place at this time. Indeed at most times if we are being honest. Time to put things into perspective.
James McPherson
78   Posted 29/11/2011 at 08:13:26

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Domino, your contribution (#59) around this new post Diana phenomenon of vicarious grief is a fair point. You should read a book by Francis Wheen - The land of Mumbo Jumbo - expounds this theory very effectively.

For the record, speaking for myself, I have no connection to the Speed family. I am not their spokesperson. Like most people I was shocked at the news but did not grieve as I would if it were my own family member. His death is no more tragic than any father and husband taking his own life. But it is tragic none the less.

Don't think that the rights around freedom of speech is the issue here. You must acknowledge that there is broad agreement around that. It is the timing and its associated appropriateness that many people are questioning. This would be the case for any person, former Everton player or otherwise. Too late now, but I am convinced that this thread would have delivered the insight you seek (can't believe you did not know beforehand btw, but never mind that's not important) without inflaming matters had this been been posted say two/three weeks after the person had been laid to rest. I just do not get the desire and appropriateness that this thirst for knowledge had to be quenched 24hrs on from the man's death. The reaction you received was based on conformist taste and decency - not mawkish sentimentality.

Michael Kenrick

We all have acknowledged the commitment you regularly dedicate to keep this site going. However, that said, it is not for the first time that you have appealed for rationality and calmness of thought, when you yourself are the most guilty proponent of inflaming matters by your arbitrary and autocratic judgements.

At a time where you were extolling the principles of free speech and cited that on these principles the thread should continue, you were actively deleting and removing posts on grounds that you solely ajudged. In my view, that is the height of hypocrisy and certainly inflamed matters for me. I even asked you why - no response was forthcoming.

I think that speaks volumes for this whole sorry affair.

Disappointed.
Michael Martin
79   Posted 29/11/2011 at 08:33:42

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I don't understand the anger of some posters trying to get this thread aborted. Timing? When would be a good time to discuss this? Another 20 years from now?

I agree that it would be totally inappropriate to blacken a man's name shortly after what happened to him but ALL the rumours I've heard, reflect Gary in a positive light and show him to be a man that epitomises honour and dignity. Why would you try to stop that being discussed?

As Michael Kenwick pointed out earlier, show some respect to other posters that want to discuss an issue that they want clarification on. And save the vitriol for a subject that deserves it.
Martin Mason
80   Posted 29/11/2011 at 08:44:30

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I hate to see emotional incontinence after someone dies especially when it's somebody that few or none on here know from Adam. The question asked by this poster is topical, very much in the public interest and in no way insensitive. I'll decide what is OK for me to read and comment on within the rules of the board.
I of course express a transient sadness at Gary Speed's death and for the situation of his family but like my life (which is completely unaffected) theirs will go on as it always has to. I feel no grief because grief is reserved for those close to us. There are hundreds of thousands of tragic deaths every day and Gary's is just one of them.
Tony J Williams
81   Posted 29/11/2011 at 09:09:03

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Would it not have been so much easier to have read a thread about Speed then to draft a post that will incite certain "emotional" posters?

The wording was poorly chosen, if you didn't know what had happened, it may have been advisable to not include an accusation against a man who had just taken his own life.

This subject has been discussed in depth in other threads so why a brand new one asking a question that has been answered full in another thread? Why the conspiritorial tone of the post?

It would have been better to post it and then direct him to another post where the answers lay and then closed it.
Nick Entwistle
82   Posted 29/11/2011 at 09:26:09

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James, Domino's contribution on Diana is fair comment. But even better when delivered by the world's 43rd best comedian!
Kevin Tully
83   Posted 29/11/2011 at 10:07:55

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Agree Martin # 79.

Faux grief on internet forums is becoming endemic in this country. I actually had someone take a day off because someone had passed and they knew that person through a third party.

Very sad news about Gary Speed, but some people need perspective.
Nick West
84   Posted 29/11/2011 at 10:31:28

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I had to laugh reading some of the posts above and I'm sure Gary would have too, if he was still here.

At the Stoke game, Goodison will show respect to Gary Speed, who was an Evertonian. And yet there will be thousands of people in that crowd who did him wrong - knowingly or otherwise. Many called him shithouse, while others at the club shafted him. The club hierachy all know the details of the shameful act that has been discussed here.

I'll be showing my respects for Gary Speed - but if I'd been one of those to call him shithouse or worse, shaft him, like the club, I'd also be apologising.

When I go, I don't want anyone at my wake who called me shithouse or who shafted me and then didn't say sorry....because I don't like hypocrites and I'm sure Gary Speed or his family don't.

Tony J Williams
85   Posted 29/11/2011 at 10:38:17

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Or common courtesy Kevin?

No matter what anyone says, the opening poster was suggesting something that was detrimemtal to Speed's character. It's simply not good taste.

Hiding behind, "I don't know what went on" is a load of rubbish also. All he had to do is read any of the posts about Speed and he would have known what teh rumours were. They were on all of the threads, links and all to other sites.

Also how is it "faux grief", maybe some of these posters are genuinely upset. I was was shocked when I heard the news, nothing more so don't try and label me with it as a way of saying I am overreacting.

It was bad taste and no amount of doublespeak can show it otherwise.
Scott Hamilton
86   Posted 29/11/2011 at 11:13:06

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Gary Speed remained an Evertonian despite the events that led to his departure from the club.

Many times afterwards I saw his son playing football at a local school and he was wearing an Everton shirt. Not Newcastle. Not Leeds. Not even Bolton, who Gary played for at the time.

I met the man himself on more than one occasion, as many of us blues have, and he still clearly loved the club but was cautious in the words he used to describe his time as an Everton player. Compare this to the rantings of Joey Barton last season and you can see why Gary Speed stood head-and-shoulders above most within his profession.

I have to say that I am intrigued to know why he left Everton. I wouldn't be a true Evertonian if I wasn't. I would rather not know however if it negatively reflects on Gary Speed. He is (so very sadly) not here to counter any negatives himself and, as somebody who achieved so much in football and someone who never faltered in his support of Everton the club, he deserves a line to be drawn under such matters.
Kevin Tully
87   Posted 29/11/2011 at 11:39:54

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Strange reaction that Tony, the world of celebrity we live in has become a mystery to me. I honestly didn't see much wrong with a guy who poses the question of why an ex- blue left the club. I always thought it was a problem with Kendall, and personally didn't hold a grudge against Speed.
Tony J Williams
88   Posted 29/11/2011 at 12:07:53

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I see nothing wrong with that straight forward question either Kevin, what is being pulled up is the manner in which it was asked.
Eugene Ruane
89   Posted 29/11/2011 at 12:21:20

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Tony (87) I had/have no problem with 'the manner', but do feel it would have been better posted after the lad's funeral. That said, I can't really give a reason WHY I think that (and having read everything, I think Donnie has made a decent fist of defending himself/the piece).
Daniel A Johnson
90   Posted 29/11/2011 at 12:36:57

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Whilst ill timed I do feel this thread is a good forum for discussing the "mystery" of why a Boyhood blue left suddenly and then refused to talk about it.

I'm just numb that such a great "nice"guy with so much ahead took his own life in such a horrible fashion.

My thoughts are with his wife and two sons.

And for what its worth once you've worn that royal blue shirt you will always be part of the Everton family in my oppinion.

R.I.P. Gary
Liam Appleby
91   Posted 29/11/2011 at 12:54:30

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Jesus, this is a car crash of a thread this.

Not time or place.
Robbie Muldoon
92   Posted 29/11/2011 at 12:58:25

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I'm glad I now understand the reasons why Gary Speed was subject of vitriol at Goodison Park after his departure. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this thread, and I think a lot of you are sounding like precious dears.
Jimmy Kelly
93   Posted 29/11/2011 at 12:44:26

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I'm going to be honest here and say I used to sing the 'shithouse' song to Speed when he came back.

I'm not proud of it, I was a teenager when he left and I felt betrayed, as an adult I saw that there was more to it and regretted giving him stick. I was lucky enough to meet him in a professional capacity 3-4 years ago and I rather sheepishly apologised. He laughed it off and said he'd forgive me. He seemed to be a genuine nice bloke.

Some of the sanctimonious drivel that a number of you are coming out with though, is far far worse than somebody singing that song.

Saying that a fan like myself should not go to the game because I sang a not very complimentary song about him 10 years ago when half of you are on here accusing Kenwright and Moyes of all sorts on a daily basis is sickening and unbelievably two-faced.

If Kenwright died and then you found out that he'd been telling the truth all along, would you all boycott the game in his memory? Would you hell, you'd carry on as normal.
Michael Brien
94   Posted 29/11/2011 at 12:55:09

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Kevin#79 Very sad news about Gary Speed, but some people need perspective.... So are we saying that it's only okay for people to be saddened or show some sort of grief for somebody that they know personally? I think that is a rather narrow-mided view. There are many instances when news of a death can touch people ? I think it's called being human. Yes, people can be excessive, I will not deny that, but personally I would rather there was some reaction of grief than indifference. I never met Phil Lynot but that surely doesn't prevent me from being saddened by his untimely death.
Andrew Myers
95   Posted 29/11/2011 at 13:07:55

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Why Why Why is this thread here? I am all for the freedom to discuss in a constructive way issues football related on this site, because obviously that why it exists. I do however seriously question the morals and motivation of the editorial team to allow this discussion to take place the day after his death and before he has even been buried.

Would we like one of our nearest and dearest being discussed like this immediately after their death ? I think not. His family deserve more from us. Football is ultimately just a game, and contrary to what Bill Shankly said, not more important than life and death. Move on please.
Ernie Baywood
96   Posted 29/11/2011 at 13:21:28

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This is so wrong. So Michael wants to have this discussion to exonerate him? Presumably, if we're holding the discussion, that makes it ok if I hold a different opinion and think that he was a shithouse?*

You're not the holder of all truth, Michael. You're not Kendall and you're not Speed ? there's a time for your opinion and this isn't it.

(*I don't, for what it's worth).
Lee Courtliff
97   Posted 29/11/2011 at 12:56:43

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Wrong time to dig all this up again.
John Gee
98   Posted 29/11/2011 at 13:16:24

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It's a tragic thing and just hope that his boys and wife recover from this quickly and don't spend years viewing the world through the prism of suicide.

Nick Entwistle, I agree 100%.

I would add that this is a valid question asked at an appropiate time. The truth should be known to people not to then castigate another blue (HK) but to come to terms with the fact that this is what happens in football at every club. It's football politics and should be no mystery to any of you.

As for this thread being disrespectful, it is. But not because of the OP or MK's defence. It's disrespectful because far too many posters on here are trying to wrap up their emotional retardation with Gary Speed's death, à la Diana.

RIP Gary, at least your troubles are gone now.
Kevin Tully
99   Posted 29/11/2011 at 13:55:46

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Each to their own Michael.
Tony J Williams
100   Posted 29/11/2011 at 14:14:01

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"It's disrespectful because far too many posters on here are trying to wrap up their emotional retardation with Gary Speed's death a la Diana" ? That's not disrespectful either!!!!
Ray Robinson
101   Posted 29/11/2011 at 14:29:49

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Jimmy Kelly #93 - how right you are! Same thought crossed my mind re Kenwright.

I'm not prepared to dish out vitriol until I'm 100% certain of the facts. There's usually two sides to a story. That's why I refused to give Rooney any stick despite having a personal opinion (which might be totally wrong).

Only Gary Speed, Howard Kendall and probably a handful of others know the truth - and at this point in time - does it really matter?
Simon Crellin
102   Posted 29/11/2011 at 14:44:40

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This is my first post, and probably my last. I read ToffeWeb pretty much everyday and to be honest find it informative, humourous, interesting, etc, etc.
However, lets get it right lads, you all need to get a fucking life. Surely it stands to reason Gary Speed wasn't the only bluenose in his family and you're all on here discussing the reasons why he left us?

While I'd love to know the real reason behind many of our club's mysteries, this isn't the time or place for this one.

Free speech my arse, have some respect... RIP SPEEDO.
Stephen Kenny
103   Posted 29/11/2011 at 14:46:00

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I think now is the absolute perfect time to have this debate.

Everton play Stoke on Sunday and many will want to pay thier respects. Many more will find a new respect for a man who did not go down as a great servant of our club, but should have, had the truth outed at the time.

Those involved at board and managerial level at the time really need to come out and set the record straight so a man who should at the very least go down as a great Evertonian can be given a send off befitting one at GP.
Danny Broderick
104   Posted 29/11/2011 at 14:49:51

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Michael,

You have a responsibility when you run a forum. You are neglecting yours. This thread has turned into a free for all where it's ok to say anything you want in the interests of free speech, a bit like Joey Barton's twitter page.

This thread is insensitive as a very minimum. It should be removed, like the majority of posters have said. What you are looking for is not fact - it is titter tattle, and 13 years old at that. There will not be an answer one way or another. This is just the airing of dirty Evertonian linen in public, at a time when most fans just want to pay their respects to Gary Speed.

Do you really want threads on this site to be comparable to Joey Barton's twitter account?
Danny Broderick
105   Posted 29/11/2011 at 15:28:34

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Simon Crellin,

Well said.
Julian Wait
106   Posted 29/11/2011 at 15:20:51

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@James Flynn #10 - I didn't understand your comment when I first read it, I thought in fact you were trying to say Gary Speed had taken Everton to task over mistreatment of concussions.

It seemed unlikely and perhaps something he would not have left for given his integrity seems very high indeed... he would have fought more openly for such an issue if that were it.

But then I saw some other links elsewhere and wonder of there's something in what I know believe you are saying, i.e. that he himself perhaps unknowingly suffered from multiple concussions:

e.g. http://www.suicide.org/concussions-can-lead-to-suicide.html and plenty of other links as well if you google those horrible words.

Of course there's plenty other players out there we all know who are even more famous headers of the ball (and other players) so god forbid it's actually true (and I bet many of us on here grew up heading a soaking leather "casey" ball in the wet as kids ...). Chilling indeed.
Concussions in American Football here in the US is a big issue and many parents prefer their kids to play the safer "soccer" for that very reason.

Regardless, and I hope this doesn't offend anyone here, but it seems like a full autopsy would be beneficial to those who follow, to determine if there is any possible causality as suggested.
Julian Wait
107   Posted 29/11/2011 at 15:31:15

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Re above #106, this was the original article that led me to explore this issue a little farther:

http://www.opposingviews.com/i/health/conditions/did-head-injuries-play-role-soccer-star-gary-speeds-suicide

Eugene Ruane
108   Posted 29/11/2011 at 15:32:00

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Danny Broderick (104) - Getting a mental picture of you in a Frankenstein movie, you're the one handing out the flaming torches to enraged towns-folk and shouting "Burn the monster!".

I happen to think the timing of the post was wrong, but fuck me, it appears there are some on here looking to form a mob and show everyone how 'outraged' they are (some possibly seizing the chance to settle a score?.)

I'm more than happy for people to say it was 'out of order' or that they disagree with the timing (nb: as I do) but the post hardly says 'He was a twat' or 'good riddance.' (if you read the post there's not ACTUALLY anything that bad you know).

There IS something alarming to me though about 'PULL THE THREAD!!!'.

I wouldn't (and I DEFINITELY wouldn't because a mob demanded it)
Eugene Ruane
109   Posted 29/11/2011 at 15:52:16

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Actually sorry, that reads a little harsh but...fuck it, I really think we all need to..um...take a deep breath (or whatever it is they say now). I've now read it three times and the post really wasn't spiteful or nasty.
Charlie Dixon
110   Posted 29/11/2011 at 16:18:22

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Goodbye Toffeeweb. A new low Kenrick!
Danny Broderick
111   Posted 29/11/2011 at 16:22:20

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Eugene,

I actually like most of what you post so I am not going to have a go back. But it's not just the initial post, it's the upshot from the initial post. We've got Julian Watt looking into whether the cause of death was a previous head injury. We've got people blaming Kendall for Speed's departure through various versions of events, people demanding an apology from the board. It's nothing to do with us. It's all been and gone as well 13 years ago. It's not going to achieve anything, it's just raking over the coals and the fella hasn't even been buried yet.
Lyndon Lloyd
112   Posted 29/11/2011 at 16:19:52

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James Flynn: Kenrick, Lloyd - Very well done to post the OP. Good call.

To be honest, James, I wouldn't have posted this thread, at least not without some heavy editing to remove the... shall we say "unfortunate wording" of Domino's question.

And given the tone of some of the responses that have been allowed to stand, I'd have let all but a couple of those indignant replies that were removed to stand as well.

The erosion of ToffeeWeb's reputation has become a source of personal concern and I'd hoped that it was something we could mend over time. That becomes more difficult with each mis-step like this, in my opinion.

Jimmy Kelly
113   Posted 29/11/2011 at 16:27:38

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No offence meant here James but you do realise the irony of what you're saying?

We all have an opinion on the situation (personally I think it may have been better left for another day) but Michael made the perfectly valid point earlier that nobody is making you - or anybody else - read this particular piece.

I agree with Eugene above, the more the mob demands removal the more I would be tempted to keep it up.
Mike Rourke
114   Posted 29/11/2011 at 16:28:24

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If this very thread had been posted on the eve of the Stoke game, so as to 'clear' Gary Speed's name from the ( completely unjustified ) 'shithouse' slurs with the stated aim of ensuring a 100% respectful Goodison send-off then no problem at all.

Problem is it was posted barely 24 hours after the awful news broke.

Calling for sensitivity with thread topics at a difficult time such as this doesn't come over as remotely mawkish to me. I would just call it common decency.

Time and a place.
Eugene Ruane
115   Posted 29/11/2011 at 16:35:41

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Danny, as I said, I agree with the point re the timing - should have waited a week imo, but the pull the post stuff I find annoying. You say "It's not going to achieve anything, it's just raking over the coals and the fella hasn't even been buried yet". I expect you're right, it WON'T achieve anything but...what post on any forum does? It's simply opinion - yours and mine to agree with, get annoyed with, argue with or ignore. And unless something is blatantly insulting and/or libelous, cries of 'pull it!' strike me as a huge over-reaction.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
116   Posted 29/11/2011 at 16:43:01

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I've refrained from further comment but I think some sense is beginning to seep through amidst the continuing mawkishness. Thankfully there are a few who have stepped forward and shown less narrow-minded understanding.

Meanwhile, the likes of James MacPherson continues to post his scurrilous bile. It's comments like that which impugn me but are utterly and totally baseless and crass, and merit only deletion.
Tony J Williams
117   Posted 29/11/2011 at 16:57:27

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"but I think some sense is beginning to seep through " - Why? because some posters now agree with you?

Will Firstbrook
118   Posted 29/11/2011 at 16:59:19

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My goodness this thread has certainly gone off the rails!

Not sure who suggested it earlier but I agree, everyone needs to take a deep breath and move away from the keyboard.



Ciarán McGlone
119   Posted 29/11/2011 at 17:04:49

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"To be honest, James, I wouldn't have posted this thread, at least not without some heavy editing to remove the... shall we say "unfortunate wording" of Domino's question."

-----------------

I think that just about covers it Lyndon... It's not sanctimoniously contrived grief... it was simply the wording of the article ? and the inferences that could, quite legitmately, be taken from it.

I've read it several times now and it still reads as though he is suggesting that Speed is to blame for leaving a question mark over the good name of the club...

Badly timed? Possibly.

Badly written? Accepting the author's subsequent Bona Fides? Certainly.

Editable (long before now) by the purveyor of free speech? Most definitely.
John Audsley
120   Posted 29/11/2011 at 17:07:15

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Hmmmmm

Ive missed this thread

BUT, I think Eugene has it spot on, nothing libelous or insulting has been said (Nor should it be) and I think pulling the thread would be a over reaction.

When Speed left EFC it was sold to the fanbase as a if he had refused to play and stabbed us all in the back, I was 22 back then and was gutted he had left but to be honest never believed that a man such as Gary would do that.

You look at his career and personality, would he ever refuse to play or not get on the team bus

NEVER

I reckon we got stitched up by the board at the time who probably had to cash in to survive

Speed was a model pro and never let any of us down, I wish he had stayed at EFC for the rest of his career but it wasn't to be.

God bless you and your family Gary
Andy Crooks
121   Posted 29/11/2011 at 17:20:41

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It seems to me that the only thing with wrong with the OP is the timing of it, which unfortunately means there is quite a bit wrong with it. However, I think it is right to publish it right to publish the responses to it and right to keep it on.

The Diana comparisons are unfair, though. Being a cynic does not necessarily mean that one sees the world as it is and that people who respond emotionally to something are in some way retarded and worthy of contempt. Sentiment is often under rated and is a much more commendable quality than callousness.
James Flynn
122   Posted 29/11/2011 at 17:43:57

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Julian (106) - I probably should have posted the concussion concern in a separate post.

I'm hoping something "good" can come from this tragedy. A study of brain damage suffered by Speed from 20-25 years of bouncing balls off his head. Not to mention the elbows, head collisions, etc. And, the worst part, simply playing through all of them.
James Flynn
123   Posted 29/11/2011 at 18:06:54

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Lyndon (113) - I don't think anything is wrong with ToffeeWeb. I've bounced around different EFC-related forums and this one is by far the best.

Like everyone else, I don't have to come into TW to root for EFC. I come in here for the surprisingly high level of opinion, pretty damn good writing, and wit.

I said above and will repeat, when I first read the OP I thought, "Well, I might have written a couple of those lines differently". But that's all. Never occur to me to censor the OP. Why?

Domino asked a legit question, since almost all EFC/Speed-related references spoke about the circumstances surrounding his departure.

To all the phoney self-righteousness spouted at Domino and Kenrick, it's also worth repeating Domino's opening line,

"Gary Speed is dead and it is a shocking event. God rest his soul".

Julian Wait
124   Posted 29/11/2011 at 18:55:04

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@James 123 - I see there's a separate post now, and I think it's a big issue potentially. Posting over there ...

THANKS FOR BRINGING THIS UP
Sean Patton
125   Posted 29/11/2011 at 20:16:51

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The club was a bloody circus back then: Royle was sacked, Kanchelskis left, Parkinson got injured, Kendall came and went, Southall left, the whole Clifford Finch/Nigel Martyn episode, Watson retired and had a stint as a player manager and, to top it all off, Ferguson was sold behind the manager's back.

So if Gary Speed says that he didn't want to drag the name of Everton further into the gutter, that is fine by me and I would believe him over the board at the time.
Guy Hastings
126   Posted 29/11/2011 at 21:15:34

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I thought Paul McMullan's turn today at the Leveson Inquiry was a tad on the self-righteous, self-justifying side but at least he had a time and a place. Sometimes, MK, you just don't get it. This is one of them.
Robbie Shields
127   Posted 29/11/2011 at 21:47:02

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Difficult one this, I can see everyone's point of view on this as it is such an emotional issue and everyone has their own barometer for what is and is not appropriate in these circumstances.

Personally, I believe that although the timing wasn't perfect, a lot of fans potentially had an incorrect view of Gary Speed and his perceived disloyalty to the Club he had supported all his life. I remember the episode all too well and was disgusted at the time that he would turn his back on the club, I fell for it hook line and sinker.

By all accounts Gary was not able to clear his name, the only mark I am aware of on an otherwise exemplary career. His family would surely have been upset at the way he was treated at Everton and upset that he could never clear his name, that I think is the point of this thread, Gary and his family deserve for his name to be cleared of the one and only blemish in his copybook, one he did not ask for and did not deserve.

Gary was a true Evertonian, loyal to the day he tragically died, he deserves to be remembered by all of us as the true great he really was, as a footballer, an Evertonian and as a man, and his family deserves that too.
Andy Crooks
128   Posted 29/11/2011 at 22:11:03

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I'm disappointed to read of people saying goodbye to Toffeeweb over this post. Michael Kenrick does not deserve the stick he is getting over this. I've made my views on the post known but for the editor to be overzealous in ruling stuff out would render this site worthless.
Nick Entwistle
129   Posted 29/11/2011 at 22:08:57

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I posted earlier in the thread that the internet is no place for a uniformed response to anything, even death.

Why some view this free-for-all media as akin to standing by the grave side is beyond me.

It's an arena for discourse, and not tied to the manners and responsibility that the all important TV box in our living rooms adheres to.

My attitude to this may be forthright and Gary Speed's passing is an uncomfortable reality, but now I see the plagiarised views of Domino Darkly regarding Diana is not too out there.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1H913UqQ6w

This is an internet forum, the post was not perfect in tone, but it has been far and away outdone in distasteful content by those who have turned against its publishment (that's not a real word, but I'm using it).

No-one has a right not to be offended if it really has gone too far, but self-righteous bollocks is bringing this post down and ToffeeWeb too.

Have I just added to that self-righteous bollocks? Probably.
John Daley
130   Posted 29/11/2011 at 21:39:58

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"Over the weekend his calamatious input has seen him post a distasteful joke about shooting Stuart Hall unfortunately followed by Speedo's death highlighting the folly of misjudged criticism."

Don't be so fucking precious. What has one got to do with the other? A joke (for that is all it was) about a joke figure totally unrelated to the person and circumstances currently being discussed in this post. Who decided it was distasteful?

As for Gary Speed, his links with Everton can be summed up as follows:

1) Boyhood Evertonian
2) Played for the club
3) Captained the club
4) Left the club under controversial circumstances

Any discussion of his Everton career is inevitably going to mention one of these four things. You can't simply ignore his departure to Newcastle because it quite simply forms an integral part of his Everton 'story' and, at the end of the day, this is an Everton fan site.

From what I've read on this thread, not one person has said or intimated anything distasteful or disrespectful to the man himself. No one has had anything but good words to say about Gary Speed and heartfelt condolences for his family. How on earth can this be misconstrued as portraying Evertonians in a bad light or insensitive or disrespectful in any way?

Admittedly the original post was poorly worded and the title totally misplaced but the question posed is not a scurrilous or malicious one and I don't believe it crossed any boundaries of common decency. Mention of his departure from the club has been made in other posts and other media without an ensuing flood of outrage and allegations of muck raking.

I don't even know if I buy into the whole bad timing argument. Let's face it, Gary Speed is, has been and will be a major news story over the last two days, the next week, the next month, the immediate future. His tragic story features on the front and back pages of the newspapers. on the Internet, on tv, on the radio. Any mention of Gary Speed on this site will inevitably refer to his Everton career and, as sad as it may be to say, the way in which he left the club is arguably the defining memory of his Everton career. Should we now try and whitewash over that? To me, that is the more distasteful and disrespectful road to take.
Paul Ferry
131   Posted 29/11/2011 at 22:31:34

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I do take the point that a moderator/arbiter ought to take a back seat and, well, moderate and arbitrate. That means fishing through contributions to weed out and, in most cases, not publish comments that are not in line with the ToffeeWeb's clearly stated practices and procedures. I believe that MK does a good job here for the most part. The difference here, I think, is that there was a high level of individual/personal comment with loaded accusations and insinuations about character for better or for worse aimed at MK. It's reasonable to argue that it never should have got that far (and MK had a hand in that); but it's unreasonable to argue that in these specific circumstances MK should not have responded.

This whole episode is unfortunate and it is deeply regrettable, but this is not the typical ToffeeWeb way of doing things. There has been nothing like this on the site before and these are highly charged and emotional times, to be sure. I'm also sure that MK will take stock of this thread and question what he did right and what he did wrong, and others, particularly the multiple posters on this thread, will do the same. At the end of the day, we have lost a true blue who left this earth with an almost unanimous chorus of admiration and respect. And we have a site that I feel might well become better as a result of this, sometimes too hyperbolic and pious exchange.

Let's put this to bed now but also not forget what we can learn from it. RIP Gary Speed. Don't ignore the more thoughtful criticisms on this thread, MK. And more than a handful of posters here might want to think about the tone and temper of what they contributed to this sad thread.
Colin Gee
132   Posted 29/11/2011 at 22:54:38

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How many of us, at the time Gary Speed left, knew the reasons behind his departure?

I certainly didn't, the only thing I remember at the time was the £5 million bid being turned down from Newcastle, him not turning up for the coach to West Ham away, then being sold a week later for £5.5 million.

I along will 40 thousand other Blues called him a 'shithouse' the first time he came back with Newcastle. All we knew that another boyhood blue had left us.

It's only in the later years that I along with everyone else has found out what really went on with Gary Speed's departure thanks to the internet and for that reason I think he is more of an Evertonian than we ever gave him credit for for not telling the press the reasons why.
When you analize his quote of 'it would damage the reputation of Everton FC' I know what he means, he was such a big blue that he couldn't bring himself to say what went on and kept it to himself, he could and should have been an all-time Everton legend, but he protected another Everton legend in not saying anything when he left.

I feel like a 'shithouse' for calling it him in the first place and would like to publically apolgise for it.
I will be at Goodison on Sunday along with everyone else giving him hopefully a decent send off.
If that's hypocritical of me then I am sorry.
Ray Robinson
133   Posted 29/11/2011 at 23:11:24

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No, Colin, it's not hypocritical of you, it's a sign of maturity that you don't necessarily swallow everything that the club / local press drip feed to us.

Let those who vent bile at Barmby, Lescott, Arteta, Pienaar, Rooney et al learn to rein in their obvious disappointment in the knowledge that their are always two sides to a story and that my Everton, which is unimpeachable as an institution, may at any point be served by humans who, to say the least, are not necessarily worthy of serving it.
Paul Ferry
134   Posted 29/11/2011 at 23:53:51

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Ray mate (#135), I think you meant 'impeachable', not 'unimpeachable'.
Andy Crooks
135   Posted 30/11/2011 at 01:28:48

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I just watched the football on tv and was moved by the tributes to Gary Speed. I am sure Bellamy was gutted by the death of Gary Speed but surely he didn't need a towel to dry his tears. A quiet tear wiped by the back of his hand would have been moving and dignified. Look at at me, a towel. Sad and morbid. Nice to see the reds chant his name,though.Moving and spontaneous.
James Flynn
136   Posted 30/11/2011 at 01:54:55

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JD (131) - "I don't even know if I buy into the whole bad timing argument. Let's face it, Gary Speed is, has been and will be a major news story over the last two days, the next week, the next month, the immediate future."

In his memory, may the tragedy lead to a closer look at head trauma and its effects. That, hopefully, will be the enduring storyline.
James Flynn
137   Posted 30/11/2011 at 02:11:35

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Andy (129) - "I'm disappointed to read of people saying goodbye to Toffeeweb".

I'm not. This thread defines ToffeeWeb at its best.

For those (few) saying goodbye to ToffeeWeb - Don't let the door hit you in the ass.

Goodbye.
Martin Mason
138   Posted 30/11/2011 at 02:23:25

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Lyndon, I'd say that you have more problems as a board if you try to filter out posts like this or be moved by pressure from a few posters to have the post removed or to censor any responses that otherwise meet the rules of the board.

Gary Speed is dead, he deserves our respect and appreciation for a great career and that is all. Mawkish grief is absolutely irrational and should not be used as an editing guideline in cases like this.

The OP was absolutely OK and if people are genuinely, incredibly, emotionally impacted by the death of a stranger then they really should question whether they should visit and read posts that may trigger further emotional instability.

I sincerely despair over what is happening to people in the internet age. I completely agree with the concept that moderators should moderate not censor and should stand back unless the rules of the board are transgressed. Free speech is far more important than political correctness.
James Flynn
139   Posted 30/11/2011 at 02:40:08

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Martin (139) - Good one. Well-said.
Julian Wait
140   Posted 30/11/2011 at 04:18:28

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Inevitable really :

"you should be doing a story about Evertonians tearing each other apart on website forums over whether the club has a right to mourn Gary Speed without apologising" ? in the comments following this article:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/wales/8922111/Gary-Speeds-death-sees-fierce-tribalism-put-on-hold-as-football-fraternity-stands-united-in-sadness.html

Are you lot happy now or can we move on?
Martin Mason
141   Posted 30/11/2011 at 05:10:37

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Julian, surely it is totally whacko to "mourn" somebody you don't know? Remember that I and all like minded people also have the right not to be irrational without apologising. We do stand united by the way not in irrational grief but in regret at such a loss and respect for the achievements of what we see as a good man.
Michael Brien
142   Posted 30/11/2011 at 06:37:00

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Perhaps the sad events may make ALL of us think carefully about how we react to players and managers. Football is a sport, it's not life or death- it's a sport that has been an important part of my life for over 45 years now - since my 1st visit to Goodison as a 7 year old in 1964 - er that's 47 years!!

I have been disappointed over the years with some players and managers. However, over the last 20 years, there has been an increasing amount of vitriol in the the reactions of football fans. You only have to see Blackburn on TV to witness the criticism by Rovers fans of Steve Kean. Maybe the guy is doing a bad job, but does he deserve the kind of barracking that he is getting? You look at the Blackburn fans who are barracking him and you see real hatred in their eyes in their body language. Isn't that going just a bit too far?

I am not suggesting that we want the game to be played in an atmosphere like say croquet ? "Jolly great save, sir!" ? "I say, Referee, I think you have made a mistake." But there are some reactions that are not acceptable. I am not happy with David Moyes but I would not wish to resort to personal/vitriolic barracking.

We have seen it in recent years at Goodison with Jeffers and Rooney getting stick on their return. Deserved or not I would suggest it would surely be better to put more effort in getting behind the Everton team than barracking a former player/manager. Perhaps the tragic death of Gary Speed will help people in football put things into perspective.

Andy #136 ? Bellamy is not a player I like; I admire his skill, but I don't like his attitude. However, to criticise his reaction to Gary Speed at last night's game is I think unfair. It seems that he was a close friend of Gary Speed, so his reaction is understandable.

"A quiet tear wiped by the back of his hand would have been moving and dignified. Look at at me, a towel. Sad and morbid." ? What would you recommend? A stiff upper lip, what! People's emotions are people's emotions! I saw the interview with Robbie Savage the other day ? whether or not he looked dignified or not I don't think anyone was bothered, he was distraught at the loss of a friend. Surely it is a time to respect people's right to express their emotions and personally I thought your comments, "Look at me a towel" to be crass and insensitve in the extreme.
Lyndon Lloyd
143   Posted 30/11/2011 at 07:13:50

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Martin M., in the main I agree. My rationale is not borne of "mawkish grief", however — I'm greatly saddened by his passing but I, personally, am not grieving for Gary Speed because I never knew him — just a respect for his family and his memory. In that sense I think the issue could have been discussed had the original post been published with a more tactful headline and wording.

Now, seeing as we've got 140-odd comments of arguing over the merits of the original post, more mud being slung at ToffeeWeb, debates over how Craig Bellamy should cry, and the original question barely addressed, it's high time the thread was closed.

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