Speed not among Bennell victims, family says

The family of former Wales coach Gary Speed have said he was not a victim of Barry Bennell.

Former Wales manager Gary Speed   -  Getty Images

Gary Speed was not among the abused victims of ex-youth coach Barry Bennell, the family of the late Wales manager have said.

On Tuesday at Liverpool Crown Court, Bennell was convicted of 36 charges of sex offences, with seven further convictions following on Thursday.

The 64-year-old, who was associated with clubs including Crewe Alexandra, Manchester City and Stoke City, will be sentenced on Monday.

One of Bennell's victims suggested during the court case that Speed, who died in 2011, was among four men to have taken their own lives after being abused by the coach.

But the family of Speed sought to deny those claims with a statement released via the League Managers Association.

The Speed family said: "In light of recent speculation, we would like the following points to be made quite clear:

"Gary Speed was interviewed on two occasions by the police during their investigations into allegations made about Barry Bennell.

"On both occasions Gary made it quite clear that he did not know anything about Bennell's alleged behaviour and also made it clear that Bennell had never behaved inappropriately towards him.

"The police have subsequently made clear that they were satisfied that there was no reason to link the Bennell investigation to Gary.

"The prosecution also made clear at the trial of Bennell that 'there was no evidence called at any of the inquests suggesting that [Speed's] death was linked to' Bennell.

"The family would ask that their privacy be respected and that the unwarranted speculation should please cease."

Speed made 535 appearances in the Premier League, scoring 80 goals, and had spells with clubs including Leeds United, Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers.

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