On this day: 2011 - Leeds pay perfect tribute to Gary Speed by beating Nottingham Forest 4-0

Leeds United fans with tributes to Gary Speed before kick off

Leeds were playing their first game following their former player's tragic death.

On November 29th 2011, Leeds United travelled to the City Ground to face Nottingham Forest looking to pay the perfect tribute to their former midfielder Gary Speed.

The Welshman's tragic death had come just two days before the clash, so the game provided Simon Grayson's men with their first opportunity to honour a man who had been so influential during the club's title-winning campaign in 1992.

And they certainly did not disappoint on an emotional night.

Robert Snodgrass (C) celebrates scoring the first goal for Leeds United against Nottingham ForestRobert Snodgrass (C) celebrates scoring the first goal

While Speed's brilliance on his left foot meant that it was fitting that Robert Snodgrass opened the scoring by drilling a left-foot shot into the net from just outside the box, the nature of all of Leeds' first three goals perhaps best summed up Speed's ability as a player.

Though the first three goals were all scored by different men, the fact that Jonny Howson added Leeds' second with his right foot before Luciano Becchio put the game beyond doubt with a header constituted something of a perfect hat-trick for the Whites.

Jonny Howson (R) scores the second goal for Leeds United against Nottingham ForestJonny Howson (R) scores the second goal for Leeds

Given Speed's versatility - he played in almost every outfield position during his time at Elland Road - the variety in the goals may have evoked memories amongst Leeds fans about just how well-rounded a player the midfielder had been throughout his career.

Howson's volley was undoubtedly the best of the bunch and dealt a cruel blow to the home side as it came on the stroke of half-time.

Leeds United fans with tributes to Gary Speed before kick off

After Becchio had largely quashed any chance of a second-half comeback with his goal four minutes after the break, it was Adam Clayton who completed the scoring with a scrappy effort shortly after the hour mark.

It was perhaps no coincidence that the victory proved to be Leeds' biggest of the season. And moving to the present day, Garry Monk will be hoping that, in the season that marks five years since the Whites hero's untimely passing, his players can be inspired throughout the campaign in the same way that Grayson's men were that night at the City Ground. 

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