Gary Speed
Gary Speed Reuters

Gary Speed has been found hanged at his £2 million home in Cheshire, the Football Association of Wales has announced. Police have launched an investigation into the former Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield United midfielder's death.

A Cheshire Police spokesman said: "At 7:08 a.m. today, Cheshire Police was informed of a sudden death at an address in Huntingdon, Chester.

"Officers went to the scene where a 42-year-old man was found dead. The next of kin have been informed and have confirmed the identity of the man as Gary Speed.

"There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death and the family have requested that they are left to grieve in peace.

"The death will now be a matter for the coroner."

The 42-year-old, whose professionalism, loyalty and attitude on and off the pitch made him one of the most respected footballers of his generation, had appeared on the BBC's Football Focus show on Saturday afternoon.

Gary Speed: Tributes Paid to 'The Best Professional in Football'

The Football Association of Wales confirmed the news on Sunday that their manager had died.

In a statement, the FAW said: "The Football Association of Wales are sad to announce the death of the national team manager Gary Speed. We extend our sympathies and condolences to the family. We ask that everyone respects the family's privacy at this very sad time."

The death was announced shortly before Swansea City's Premier League fixture against Aston Villa at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday, and despite speculation the match may have been cancelled, it went ahead as planned with a minute silence preceding kickoff. Villa goalkeeper Shay Given, who was a teammate of Speed's at Newcastle United, was visibly moved.

The former Leeds United captain, who was awarded an MBE in 2010 for his services to football, leaves a wife and two children. He was capped 85 times for Wales, more than any other outfield player, and was the first player in history to play more than 500 Premier League games. His playing career lasted a staggering 21 years from 1988 to 2009, and he was appointed Wales manager in December 2010.

Gary Speed's Death Mourned by David Cameron, Welsh Leaders [VIDEO]

Manchester United and Wales legend Ryan Giggs, who played alongside Speed in the national side, added his voice to the glowing tributes being paid.

"I am totally devastated. Gary Speed was one of the nicest men in football and someone I am honoured to call a teammate and friend." Giggs told

"Words cannot begin to describe how sad I feel at hearing this awful news.

"It goes without saying my thoughts are with his family at this tremendously sad time."

The Life and Times of Gary Speed