Gareth Bale and Kyle Walker have paid tribute to Gary Speed following the tragic passing of the Wales manager on Sunday morning.
Gareth is a key member of the Wales team managed by Speed who won their last four games and optimism was high ahead of the qualification period for the next World Cup, while Kyle's association with the Premier League icon, who made 535 appearances in the competition, came at Sheffield United where Speed played and coached before taking over as manager.
"It was a massive shock, I don't think anybody ever thought anything like this would happen," said Gareth this morning. "Everyone is devastated and it is a massive loss to everyone in football.
"It is a tragedy, everyone still can't get their head around it and all our condolences go out to his family and his kids. It is a hard time," added Gareth, who says himself and his Wales teammates will give their all to honour Speed's memory.
"We were on the up, he changed the way we play and the whole mentality of our game. It is a massive loss, but we will try and carry on the best we can in his honour."
Kyle described working with Speed as a young player at Sheffield United as a privilege.
"I heard the news yesterday morning when my mum called me and I was gutted," said the full-back. "I worked with him at Sheffield United where he was a coach and it was a big step for me in my playing career. He was exactly as he came across, he was fantastic and it was a privilege to know him.
"My thoughts are with his sons and his family, my heart goes out to them. He was a great guy and this is a sad time."
Everyone at the Club joins Gareth and Kyle in sending our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Gary Speed.