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'Special' moment - Gareth

Posted on 4 December 2011  - 12:00

Gareth Bale was delighted to be able to pay a special, personal tribute to Gary Speed in Saturday's 3-0 win against Bolton.

Gareth Bale was delighted to be able to pay a special, personal tribute to Gary Speed in Saturday's 3-0 win against Bolton.

The Welsh wizard opened the scoring in the seventh minute of the Premier League encounter at the Lane, flicking home Luka Modric's corner at the near post.

As he celebrated the goal with his team-mates, Gareth removed his left boot to highlight his tribute to Speed, his former national manager who sadly passed away last weekend.

The boot had 'RIP Gary Speed' stitched into it and Gareth held it high above his head as a mark of respect for a man regarded so highly in the game.

"I had my boots done a couple of days ago and I thought if I managed to score, I’d take it off to pay tribute to Gary and his family," explained Gareth.

"It was a special moment and nice to be able to honour him in that way."

Gareth's goal paved the way for a convincing victory against Bolton and a club record sixth-successive win in the Premier League.

He was one of a number of players thwarted by an outstanding performance from visiting goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, who produced nine fantastic saves in the match and five to frustrate us in the first half.

We were already 1-0 up and on top when Gary Cahill was sent off in the first half, but we couldn't find that crucial second goal as Jaaskelainen kept us at bay.

He was finally beaten by Aaron Lennon for 2-0 in the 50th minute and Jermain Defoe tapped home from Gareth's flick to put the issue beyond doubt on the hour.

We continued to dominate after that and Jaaskelainen made the last of his saves from JD in the 91st minute.

"It was important we got off to a good start and we spoke about that before the game," added Gareth.

"It was a bit of a harsh sending off for them in the first half, but we created so many chances in the first half it was frightening.

"It could have been five or six at half-time but their goalkeeper played a blinder.

"We knew we had to keep plugging away and the second and third goals would follow.

"Thankfully we got the second goal early in the second half, that made it easier and we saw the game out."