Bryce Brites became world’s youngest professional football player at only 20 months.
Bryce Brites signed this week with Belgian club FC Racing Boxberg, based near his home city of Genk, after impressing coaches with his “highly unusual” talent and “incredible” ball control. The precocious toddler was invited to train with the club’s Under-5 team and was signed and issued his very own Belgian FA membership card the very same day.
Bryce Brites became world’s youngest professional football player at only 20 months
The toddler misses out on the all-time record for youngest-ever professional by two months. That record apparently belongs to Dutch footballer Baerke van der Meij, who signed a 10-year deal with VVV-Venlo when he was 18 months old.
Racing Boxberg club secretary Dany Vodnik raved about the young prodigy, who is still in diapers, to Dutch newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws: “Bryce kicks a ball in a way you do not even see when playing drills with four or five-year-olds. His ball control is incredible for his age. The way he dribbles with the ball at his feet between the cones, he can give a pass to the left or right.
“You ask him to kick a ball three or five meters and he does so, but he may not play with the five and six-year-old boys yet. We must remain cautious.“
Bryce Brites might just live up to the hype in about 15 years or so. But for the meantime, the toddler will likely enjoy instant celebrity status on his neighborhood playgrounds.
The death of Welsh national manager Gary Speed left the football world baffled and devastated yesterday.
Gary Speed, 42, was found hanged by his wife, according to the Times, just after 7:00 a.m. GMT in the garage of their $2.3 million mansion. They have together two teenage sons.
Just few hours earlier, Gary Speed had appeared happy and optimistic on BBC1’s Football Focus programme.
The Welsh manager talked enthusiastically about his team’s improving fortunes and his hopes for success in World Cup qualifying matches next year.
Presenter Dan Walker, who spent four hours on and off camera with Gary Speed, said: “He was as bubbly as I’ve known him. He was talking about his kids, how they were really coming on, and talking about playing golf next week.
“Even small things like how he’d just got into Twitter. It’s awful to think someone who was so gifted and so well liked with the rest of his life to look forward to have been cruelly removed. He was in such a good mood about the show and said he’d love to come back before Christmas.”
Gary Speed, 42, was found hanged by his wife, Louise, 40, just after 7.00 a.m. GMT in the garage of their $2.3 million mansion
The suspected suicideof Gary Speed at the family home in Huntington, on the outskirts of Chester, was reported to police just after 7:00 a.m. Police said there were “no suspicious circumstances”.
Officers were waiting last night to interview Gary Speed’s widow, Louise, 40, who was a constant figure of support throughout his career.
A friend described Gary Speed as a “completely devoted dad” to sons Ed, 14, and Tommy, 13. Both are promising sportsmen. Ed is a footballer and Tommy a keen boxer.
Robbie Savage, who played alongside Gary Speed for Wales, said his former teammate had been ribbing him on Saturday about his appearance on Strictly Come Dancing.
“I just can’t believe it,” said Robbie Savage.
“He was my mate and he’s gone. I’ve got very close to Gary in the last few years – the guy is a trooper, he’s left two gorgeous kids behind and a beautiful wife. He had everything.
“I spoke to him yesterday and we were laughing and joking – he was saying make sure you don’t get a (mark of) two off Craig (Revel Horwood, the Strictly judge) tonight. That’s what Gary’s like – he always thinks about other people.
“As my captain when I was a young boy in the squad, he’d come to me and I could go to him with my problems.”
Gary Speed’s former Newcastle United teammate Shay Given, who attended a charity fundraising fashion event with him in May, was seen in floods of tears on television as a minute’s silence was held at Swansea City’s match against Given’s team Aston Villa.
Thousands of fans sang Welsh hymns and joined in the chant “there’s only one Gary Speed”.
At Anfield, Liverpool’s Welsh star Craig Bellamy asked not to play against Manchester City after hearing the news.
Gary Speed, who was awarded an MBE in the 2010 Birthday Honours, retired from playing only last year after winning 85 caps for his country.
He represented Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle and Bolton Wanderers during his long career.
Both Gary Speed’s parents were from Chester but he was born in the Welsh border town of Mancot and was always proud to represent his country. His father Roger played football for Wrexham before returning to his trade as a joiner.
Gary Speed made his league debut for Leeds United in May 1989 and was a member of the team which went on to win the league title in 1992.
Despite having limited experience as a manager, Gary Speed’s impact on the Welsh national team had been dramatic.
He had a keen interest in sports psychology and after taking over from John Toshack a year ago was able to get the best out of young players such as Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey and Tottenham’s Gareth Bale.
Wales manager Gary Speed was found hanged at his home in Cheshire.
Gary speed, the former Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle and Bolton star, who appeared on BBC’s Football Focus show yesterday, was aged 42.
According to police, there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death, which is thought to be suicide.
Gary Speed leaves his wife Louise and two sons.
Wales manager Gary Speed was found hanged at his home in Cheshire
Gary Speed only retired from playing last year after winning 85 caps for his country and scoring seven goals.
A hastily-arranged minute’s silence was then held at Swansea City’s match against Aston Villa at the Liberty Stadium after the news broke today.
Former teammate Shay Given, now Villa’s goalkeeper, was seen in floods of tears before the match.
The Football Association of Wales today confirmed that their manager had died.
FAW said in a statement: “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.”
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 has requested that they are left to grieve in peace.
“The death will now be a matter for the coroner.”
Gary Speed won 85 caps for his country during a 14-year international career.
He took over the Wales job in December 2010 despite only having four months managerial experience.
Earlier this month, said the side’s rapid improvement in recent months had exceeded all expectations.
A 4-1 friendly win over Norway represented a third successive win for Wales, and Gary Speed’s fifth in 10 games as manager.
Earlier this week Gary Speed’s young side were handed a series of tough World Cup fixtures in their bid to reach Brazil 2014.