Following the tragic news that Wales’ manager Gary Speed’s body was found hanging in his home in Cheshire, today it has been announced that an inquest has been launched into the suspicious death of the singer.
Police have not ruled the death as suspicious, with the cause of death being widely reported as suicide, but this has yet to be made official. Speed was found by his wife Louise early Sunday morning. Police will have spoken today to the widow and their two teenage sons. A spokesman for Cheshire Police said that “it is a non-suspicious death (but) as part of the coroner's report they will speak to family members. It is normal procedure.” The coroner will establish the cause of his death at a later date.
The footballing world has spoken out with tributes dedicated to the former Everton, Bolton, Leeds and Newcastle midfielder, with his jovial appearance on the previous night’s Football Focus leaving many confused about his probable suicide mere hours later.
Gary McAllister, his ex-teammate who sat alongside him during the programme on Sunday, said: "I got a phone call on Sunday morning from Alan Shearer. He broke the news to me, and it just turned me to jelly. I couldn't believe what he was saying. Obviously it's not something that anyone would joke about; it wasn't a hoax call or anything. It just shook me to the bones. I was in shock for most of the day.
"I couldn't have predicted what would happen just ten or 12 hours after I saw him. I still can't believe it's happened, I still think it's a nightmare."
Speaking outside Speed’s home this morning, the footballers agent and best man at his wedding, Hayden Evans, said: “Gary's family would sincerely like to thank all the people that have sent messages of condolence and tributes in what is a very difficult time.
“We have been overwhelmed by the support and it really has helped.
“We would ask that the family are now given the respect of some privacy to just grieve on their own.”
A minute’s silence was held before both the Aston Villa vs. Swansea and the Liverpool vs. Manchester City games. Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish, who signed Speed when he was the Newcastle manager, said before the game: “I think it would be disrespectful to Gary if we didn’t get on with the game so we’ve just got to try and get on with it as best we can.
“He was a very respected man in and around football, not only for his ability but for the guy as a person.”
The FA has said that it will be a “shoulder to cry on” for Speed’s loved ones.
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