Gary Speed
The tributes continue for one of the game's best. REUTERS

On a day that might seem to have begun like any other football day, Leeds prepared for a match up with Millwall that could see the Whites cement their place in the fight for promotion to the Premier League.

But last Saturday wasn't just any other football day - and as the players stepped onto the pitch, it was plain to see for every fan who had shown up at Elland Road that there was something more important about this meeting than the football itself.

It was the first time Leeds had played at home since Gary Speed was found dead in his home the Sunday before. In his heyday, he had achieved one of his greatest honours with the club, winning the only title of his career in 1992 with the Whites.

Speed moved from Leeds' youth ranks to the senior side in 1988, and in eight years made 312 appearances and scored 57 goals. In life he was a legend around the ground, and in death, he was to be remembered, celebrated and loved by all throughout the side's fight with tough-as-nails Millwall.

A wreath laid by team-mates Gary McAllister, Gordon Strachan and David Batty was only the beginning of the tribute to Speed's life and contributions to Leeds. Chants rang through the ground for the entirety of the match, including a rendition of Stop Crying Your Heart Out by Oasis, and Speed's name was said too many times to count.

His parents Roger and Carol were joined by widow Louise, and sons Ed and Tommy, in the old directors box, and the fans did everything they could to show the family that while everyone is feeling the pain of Speed's absence, his spirit won't be leaving thousands of hearts any time soon.

The experience of being inside the ground was overwhelming, but the memorial outside was possibly the most touching - generations of football fans stood huddled in silence before and after the game in a circle around the many flowers, trinkets, scarfs, football tops and anything that reminded the fans of their hero.

The silence was broken after the match by a chant of Speed's name, and even children who had never seen the Welshman play were left with tears in their eyes. The reach of the 42 year old's talents, through generations, cultures and classes, is a testament to his ability to touch lives through his touch of the ball.

Millwall fans were also respectful to the legend, keeping quiet for the entirety of the match and joining in the silence, minutes' cheering and chanting. It was a show that at times like this, there are bigger things to worry about than old standing football rivalries.

The shock of Speed's death still hasn't set in with football fans around the country, and globe, and while many are still left wondering why it happened, every person at Elland Road were determined to show that he was truly loved by the entire footballing community.