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Last Updated: Monday, 11 December 2006, 08:40 GMT
Shearer lauds record-making Speed
Gary Speed
Speed has missed just 60 Premiership games in 14 years
Alan Shearer branded Gary Speed as the "ultimate professional footballer" after he became the first player to make 500 Premiership appearances.

Former Newcastle star Shearer paid tribute to ex-team-mate Speed, 37, after Bolton's 4-0 win over West Ham.

Shearer said: "Gary could go on forever. He's a top pro who looks after himself so well, it's right that he's got the Premiership appearance record.

"Gary should be an inspiration to any youngster coming through the ranks."

Former Wales captain and midfielder Speed signed a new two-year contract at the Trotters in the summer and has vowed to continue his glittering 18-year career for as long as possible.

I'll look back on landmarks when I retire

Gary Speed

"I don't pay a lot of attention to landmarks, they make me feel old," Speed told BBC Sport.

"I'll look back with pride at that sort of thing when I retire.

"The much-needed three points at West Ham were more important to me. We've been on a bad run and haven't been taking our chances."

Speed's 14 years in the Premiership have seen him miss just 60 games in his run to 500 appearances with Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle and Bolton.

He quit international football at the end of Mark Hughes' reign in October 2004 after 14 years and 85 caps, making him his country's most-capped outfield player.

Since then, he has missed just seven Premiership matches, and has played in all Bolton's league games this season.

He played in every Premiership game for his clubs in 1996/7, 1998/9, 2003/4 and 2004/5.

The Hawarden man is taking his coaching qualifications and has targeted a managerial future when he eventually hangs up his boots.

Bolton 4-0 West Ham
09 Dec 06 |  Premiership
Speed commits future to Trotters
21 Aug 06 |  Bolton Wanderers
Speed takes Wrexham coaching role
30 Jul 06 |  Bolton Wanderers
Speed targeting managerial future
29 Mar 06 |  Bolton Wanderers


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