Sheffield United Coach Gary Speed has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's birthday honours list.

The former Welsh international, whose playing career spanned 21 years, made over 650 appearances for Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers and the Blades, he was capped 85 times by his country, netting seven times.

The 40-year-old played his last match for the Bramall Lane outfit in November 2008, a Championship fixture against Wolverhampton Wanderers. He never fully recovered from a back injury sustained during the game and concentrated his efforts on a coaching role for the rest of the season whilst he recovered. He then announced his retirement at the end of the 2008/09 campaign and took up a full time coaching role with the Blades.

Speed follows in the footsteps of former Chairman Derek Dooley, who sadly passed away in March 2008, in being awarded an MBE whilst employed by Sheffield United.

Blades' Manager Kevin Blackwell commented to www.sufc.co.uk: "I remember trying to sign him when I was at Leeds United so it was great to have him here at Bramall Lane.

"It was a privilege to have him in the team and it is a pity that it only lasted a few months because of his back problems but I am so pleased he has been honoured in this way."

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