Bellamy pulls out of Liverpool squad after death of Gary Speed
Published 15:21 27/11/11 By MirrorFootball
Liverpool forward Craig Bellamy has pulled out of the squad for this afternoon's match at home to Manchester City after hearing of the death of Gary Speed.
The Wales international, who was in the starting line-up for last weekend's win at Chelsea, was not named in a list of 18 players on duty at Anfield.
Bellamy has returned home as he is too upset to play in the game against his former club.
Bellamy was particularly close to the national team manager, who was found dead at his home this morning, as their friendship dated back to their playing days for Wales.
Speed was sympathetic in his approach to how Bellamy trained for and prepared for matches and that was appreciated by the 32-year-old, who is still passionate about representing his country but accepts he has special requirements in order to be able to perform at both club and international level.
Even when Bellamy - coincidentally pictured on the front of today's match programme - was managing a pre-existing knee condition in February he was invited over to Dublin by Speed to be with the rest of the Wales squad for the Carling Nations Cup.
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish revealed that he took the decision to release Bellamy from his matchday squad.
"It was best for us to make the decision for Craig," Dalglish told Sky Sports 1.
"He was very, very close to Gary - he was almost a mentor, somebody he really admired and looked up to.
"Bellamy was a bit upset so there's no way that a game of football is more important than grieving, so that was the decision I made."