R.I.P Gary Speed – Wales Manager Found Dead At Home

Chris Wright

27th, November 2011

35 Comments

By Chris Wright

This really is terrible. The Football Association of Wales have confirmed reports that Wales manager Gary Speed has been found dead at his Cheshire home after apparently committing suicide this morning. ‘No suspicious circumstances’ is the official Police line.

Safe to say, I was absolutely caught cold when I heard of his death just a few minutes ago, the shock that one of football’s more affable, intelligent and erudite figures – a man who appeared to have been in fine fettle (‘appeared’ possibly being the key word) sat alongside Gary McAllister on Football Focus yesterday morning – had taken his own life left me numb.

Lord knows it’s easy to feign emotion and play to the gallery in this line of work, but I just feel sick. Such sad, tragic, galling news.

Many of Speed’s close footballing friends and former teammates are expressing genuine shock at Speed’s death on Twitter as we speak, indicating that whatever problems he may have been fostering were intensely private – though, of course, it’s not our place to speculate.

Our thoughts go out to his young family and everybody else he graced during his 42 years on this Earth.

R.I.P Gary Speed (1969-2011). One of the game’s true professionals

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35 Comments

  1. Mr Sensible says:

    Sad lose, always a player I had time and a great respect for.

  2. Greg says:

    I’m in tears. I can’t think of many people in the game that had as much respect as he did. RIP Gary.

  3. Derek says:

    Puts everything into perspective. Football is a game. RIP Gary.

  4. Anonymous says:

    @Chris Just terrible news from start to finish mate. Very touching tribute at the Liberty from Swansea and Villa fans, kudos to them.

  5. DJ says:

    Genuinely shocked at this news, still can’t quite believe it. Definitely one of the good guys in football and a true professional.

    RIP Gary Speed.

  6. Greg says:

    @Chris Just crazy,awful news mate. Must have had some personal stuff that we’ll never understand. Fair play to the Swansea and Villa fans at the Liberty, touching tribute.

  7. Kipp says:

    Chris mate, Care to add some links to mental-health awareness websites. Just so everyone knows that there is support available and if they ever feel low they never need to take their own life.

    • Chris says:

      @Kipp: I’m going to have to stick to my guns here and say that, until anything is officially confirmed, it’s not our place to speculate over the cause of Speed’s death.

      I’m sorry if that seems heartless but, speaking as someone who has suffered to some degree in the past, please believe that it’s not rooted in any ill-will.

    • Chris says:

      @Kipp: I’m going to do a full piece about depression in football tomorrow – I’ll put lots of links in that.

  8. MessiBalls says:

    Tragic news. Top man, top profession and top player.

    This is so sad, I feel sorry for all he left behind.

    As stated before, This puts everything into perspective.

    Football is only a game.

    RIP Gary

  9. Greg says:

    Thinking about it a bit more it does have unfortunate echoes of Robert Enke’s death.

  10. Ashley says:

    I don’t think I have ever been as shocked by news of a footballer’s death. It seems utterly senseless and impossible to explain. He always seemed like a very decent and intelligent person. Stunned

  11. Kipp says:

    Chris, it’s a good idea. I think Daniel Storey did something along those lines for F365 lately as well, before this tragic news.

  12. kct says:

    Horrible news, my heart goes out to his family. We all have our ups and downs in life, I’m sure with more awareness people will not stigmatise these natural human emotions and be more open to talking about them. @Chris, writing that article is fantastic step in the right direction.

  13. Archbishop Betty Snagcock says:

    @Chris to be honest I’d leave the big piece until all the facts are known, which’ll be like a couple of weeks, leave the papers to put through the stories tomorrow

  14. Anabelle says:

    I’m devastated. Speedo was a genuine all around good guy. My condolences to his family. Gutted.

  15. werderbremen_rulez says:

    Terribly sad news.

    Last week Babak Rafati, the German ref, and a few weeks before Cottbus player Martin Fenin. Or Robert Enke two years ago.

    Why is this game taking so many lives?

    Why can’t something be done about those increasingly inhuman pressures some (many?) individuals seem to suffer from in professional life these days – not only in sports? Sport, in particular, has become incredibly cruel in that respect imho, 24/7 constant observation from the media and a plethora of pundits ready to take your performance apart, being under the eyes & being judged in all scrutiny does not make it easier for players and everybody involved in the game.

    I have the feeling all this has become too big, too commercial – turning football into a “product” which disregardes the human factor and the fact that it is just game. Well, it used to be that.

    Sorry for my ramblings here.

  16. Rory says:

    RIP, always was one of the nice guys in football.

  17. syndex says:

    Shocked and saddened, loved him in an everton shirt and hated playing against him when he wasn’t, Whatever happened he will always be one of our legends who helped digged us out the bad time.
    Thanks Gary we loved watching you

  18. Redskywalker says:

    Stunned is an understatement.

    RIP Gary, thoughts with his family

  19. Tony Yeboah's Libido says:

    Genuinely upset. As a Leeds fan, always wanted his smarts in midfield back at Elland Road, even when he was retiring.

    Seeing Shay Given wiping away tears at the Liberty was a horrible sight too.

    Thoughts are with his family, R.I.P to a true Leeds legend and proper footballer.

  20. er says:

    Awful awful news…

  21. C says:

    Terrible news. Suicide is not just a problem in modern sport but its becoming an epidemic in society (especially in young men) with November sadly being a notoriously difficult month. Everyone out there needs to look after your mental health with the festive season coming up. Everyone is important to some one. When you think you’ve reached the bottom and can’t go on, look for help. Condolences to his family and friends. RIP Gary Speed

  22. kopred says:

    Genuinely awful. My brother took his life in 2009, and it’s impossible to describe what Gary’s family are going through, and I can only offer them my condolences. I’m too young to have seen him play, but he was definitely one of the nicest, most genuine people in football.

    RIP Speedo.

  23. Ryan says:

    Depression is truly awful.

  24. R-Hops says:

    Sincere condolences to the family and friends of Gary Speed.

    As a proud Welshman, and huge footballing fan, when my good friend told me the news, I froze. A tear fell from my eye, and more are falling as I type this.

    Gary Speed is a legend, and the way he conducted himself was examplery to all. I am privelaged to say that I watched him captain our country in my first live football game, and I watched him lead our country in his first as manager.
    Considered an ultimate professional by all he played for and with, as well as he all he played against.

    But most of all, I hope that he is now at peace from whatever it was that troubled him desperately. If he could see the outpouring of emotion and tributes, and how much he will be missed by many, then possibly, he would still be here. And that is what makes this a true tradegy.

    Gone but never forgotten, There’s Only 1 Gary Speed. Rest in Peace.

  25. Souksonne says:

    Terribly sad news. My heart goes out to his family as well as all those who played with him as a player and under him as a manager. This death has touched everybody immensely, regardless of club or country allegiances. A genuinely admirable professional on the pitch and an intensely affable person off it. You will be sorely missed, Gary. Rest in Peace.

  26. Solihull United says:

    R.I.P to one of the sharpest managers out there, everyone is absolutely gutted by the loss. shay given didn’t even know if he was gonna play yesterday he was so devastated. goes to show the effect gary had on people

  27. Michael says:

    Gary Speed was one of the players that lit up the game and made me enjoy the years in which he was involved in the Premier League with Newcastle, Leeds, Everton and Bolton. Scored some tremendous, involved in some amazing build up play and hit a sweet free kick too. Always unassuming and what makes his passing worse was that he was only on Football Focus on Saturday and looked in top form enjoying life and on a mini crest of a wave with Wales after a good run of results/performances as their international manager.

    So sad. RIP Gary Speed.

  28. Titus says:

    R.I.P. Gary Speed… This may not be the time to say this, but I would seriously hope that the investigation into his death is not immediately closed. Strikes as me as very odd that he would show up to provide analysis on football matches then proceed to commit suicide almost right after. I know that someone in a suicidal frame of mind acts irrationally but this seems little bit suspect to me that someone would consider appearing on a football program a priority before committing suicide

  29. Davy says:

    I still can’t believe it, I keep reading things still in disbelief. I was lucky enough to meet him when he played for Newcastle and although I had, had a few and was probably annoying he was nothing but nice…A truly decent bloke

  30. WildScotsman6 says:

    News the football community around the world will shed a tear for.

  31. Ron says:

    RIP, Gary.

    Davy – that is crazy – to have met him, to have been a bit topped off and probably too fawning, which we’ve all done…and for him to be nice nonetheless.

    I guess what is so hard to understand is how a guy whom so many loved could be so distraught.

    RIP and with speed, Gary.

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