Gary Speed, the manager of the Wales national team, was found dead on Sunday at the age of 42, the Football Association of Wales (FAW) said in a statement.
Cheshire police in north-west England, where Speed lived, said in a statement that a 42-year-old man had been found hanged at his home and that there were no suspicious circumstances.
Speed, who made more than 700 appearances for Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield United in a playing career that spanned 22 seasons, became Wales manager last December.
He was a member of the Leeds team that won the last First Division title in 1992, before the start of the Premier League, and he became the first player to make 500 Premier League appearances during his time at Bolton in Dec. 2006.
He was awarded the MBE for services to football after retiring as a player last year.
Speed also made 85 appearances for Wales between 1990 and 2004, being their most capped outfield player and second highest overall behind goalkeeper Neville Southall.
Although Wales were eliminated from the race for the Euro 2012 finals, they had won their last three internationals and there were signs of real improvement under Speed's guidance.
His former Wales team mate Robbie Savage was among hundreds paying their respects on Twitter, saying: "The world has lost a great man in Gary Speed. I am devastated. Spoke to him yesterday morning. Why why? I will miss him so much.
"He was upbeat on the phone, yesterday we were laughing together, talking football and dancing. He was a great team mate and a great friend. RIP."