A GROUP over 100 Leeds United fans are set to march from Flintshire to the club's home ground in memory of Gary Speed next week.

2022 marks eleven years since the former Wales international footballer and manager took his own life, aged 42 years old.

In his heyday, Speed was a much-loved and hard-working midfielder for Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield United.

Speed, born in Mancot, also earned 85 caps for Wales and is high up on the Premier League's all-time appearance-makers with 535 of those to his name.

It was, arguably at Leeds United where he stood out the most - making 248 league appearances for the club and won the First Division with them in the 91/92 season.

His death in 2011 shook the footballing world and fans have been paying tribute on an annual basis ever since.

Next week- between Thursday, May 26 and Sunday, May 29, over 100 Leeds fans will be taking on a walking challenge from Speed's home county of Flintshire to Elland Road - a distance of around 92 miles.

North Wales Chronicle:

PIC: Speed was a true Premier League and Wales legend.

As a boy, Speed attended Hawarden High School. He played for Flintshire and for Aston Park Rangers.

The Leeds fans taking on that walk in his memory will start their journey off from Courtland Drive in Aston, close to Speed's childhood home and the park that now bears his name.

From there, they will walk through the likes of Warrington, Ellesmere Port, Frodsham, Altrincham, Manchester, Oldham, Marsden, Huddersfield and finally Leeds. 

They will also visit the Gary Speed mural in Bramley along the way.

A statement from fundraiser organiser Michael Normanton read: "Even 10 years later, Gary's passing is something we all struggle to come to terms with, so when the 10th anniversary came around in November, we decided it was an occasion we shouldn't leave unmarked.

North Wales Chronicle:

"The end of this season seems a perfect time to celebrate his life as it coincides with the 30 year anniversary of the title win Gary contributed so much to.

"Whether in his usual midfield role, filling in at left-back or up front in place of Lee Chapman, Gary was brilliant at all of it. He was talented, handsome and loved by thousands. If mental heath can be an issue for someone as brilliant as that then it's an issue for all of us."

The fundraiser has so far collected over £6,200 for Andy's Man Club and The Samaritans.

Commenting on what it means to her seeing fans still pay tribute to her son, Gary's mother Carol Speed told the Leader: "It's amazing that, after 11 years, people are still paying their respects, it's good to know just how much Gary meant to people.

"It just goes to show that he will never be forgotten."

You can donate to the fundraising page here.