Gary Speed’s Death May Have Been Accidental

Coroners report reveals the former Leeds footballers' death may not have been suicide.

Paul Tamburroby Paul Tamburro

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Yesterdays inquest into the death of former Leeds and Sheffield United player Gary Speed's death has raised just as many questions as it has answered, the largest of which is that his death may not have been suicide, as was previously reported.

Speed, who up until his death was manager of the Wales national team, was found hanging in the garage of his home by wife Louise. Just hours earlier Speed had joined former teammate as a guest on the BBC's Football Focus programme discussing the Manchester United vs Newcastle United game.

Now it has emerged that Speed was having marital issues with his wife which had even led to Speed discussing suicide via text message. However, Louise has told police that he quickly dismissed the threat within the same text message, telling her how much he would miss her and their two teenage sons.

According to Louise the pressure of his post as Wales manager put a strain on their relationship, with him being "very much a family man" that didn't enjoy the times they'd be separated as a result of his job. He confided in close friend Alan Shearer while on a joint family holiday, but Shearer told police that he assured Gary that the problems he was having were "usual in a relationship that is so long-standing" and Speed said that he was going to "give it a go and stick in there".

The night before his death Gary and his wife attended a dinner party with a few friends. Gary played water polo with three of his friends after they had pushed him into the pool fully-clothed. After arriving home they had an argument, which Louise described to police as "something about nothing", and she left the house to go for a drive to "clear [her] mind". 

“I didn’t go very far at all, just to the top of the road. Then I thought: ‘This is silly'", she told police. When she returned home she was locked out and, after calling Gary's mobile to ask him to let her inside, she decided to sleep in the car outside the house. After trying again to get inside the house at 6am, she walked to the back of the garage where she could see Gary through the window.

After phoning emergency services she was told to cut his body down and attempt to resuscitate him. Paramedics shortly arrived on the scene but after 20 minutes they were still unable to detect a heart rate.

Although his death was previously deemed likely to be a suicide, the coroners report given at the inquest  stated that Speed could have "nodded off" whilst sitting with the cable wrapped around his neck whilst sitting on the stairs to the garage. The coroner also stated that it was "impossible to determine" whether or not Speed had intended to take his own life.

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