There are few more popular figures in the history of the Cymru national team than Gary Speed, and he is remembered as one of the finest midfielders to represent his country.

Between 1990 and 2004, Speed made 85 appearances for Cymru, while his club career spanned more than two decades and covered almost 700 games for Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield United. Speed was leading Cymru into a new and exciting era as manager when he lost his life nine years ago this month, and to celebrate his achievements here are five defining fixtures of his Cymru playing career.

Cap #1 – Cymru 1-0 Costa Rica - 20th May 1990

A goal from Dean Saunders was enough for Terry Yorath's side to defeat Costa Rica in this international friendly at Ninian Park. Named on the bench for his first senior match, Speed replaced Paul Bodin on 75 minutes to earn the first of his 85 caps for his country. Following his death, Cymru again played Costa Rica in a memorial match at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Cap #7 – Cymru 1-0 Brazil - 11th September 1991

Although Cymru had defeated World champions Germany by the same scoreline just a few months before this memorable victory, Speed had only come off the bench in the final moments of the win. However, he started this match against Brazil and played the full 90 minutes. As in Speed's debut against Costa Rica Saunders was again the hero for Cymru at Cardiff Arms Park.

Cap #23 – Cymru 1-2 Romania - 17th November 1993

For a squad that included the likes of Ian Rush, Neville Southall and Ryan Giggs in addition to Speed himself, failure to qualify for the finals of a major tournament was tough to take. In this decisive match against Romania, Cymru were denied a place at the 1994 FIFA World Cup, and it proved to be the end of an era as Terry Yorath left his position in the aftermath of the defeat. Speed played the full match but could not prevent the star-studded Romanian side from booking their place at the finals.

Cap #32 – Cymru 1-0 Moldova - 6th September 1995

Despite playing 85 games for his country and scoring seven goals, Speed didn't score many important goals during his Cymru career. However, this changed in September 1995 when he scored the only goal of the game for Bobby Gould's team in this EURO 1996 qualifying victory over Moldova. Speed scored the goal that separated the two nations on 55 minutes, but the side once again failed to celebrate at the end of the qualifying campaign.

Cap #70 – Cymru 2-1 Italy - 16th October 2002

One the most memorable performances and results of a generation, Mark Hughes' side welcomed Italy to a packed Millennium Stadium in Cardiff for this EURO 2004 qualifier. Simon Davies opened the scoring early in the match to send the Cymru fans wild, but an equaliser from Alessandro Del Piero before half-time levelled matters for Giovanni Trapattoni's side. However, the best was yet to come, as Craig Bellamy scored the winning goal on 70 minutes. Sadly, qualification would eventually be denied in a play-off defeat to Russia, and Speed would never represent Cymru on the biggest stage.

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