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Gary Speed may not have intended to take his own life, inquest finds

An inquest into Gary Speed’s death recorded a narrative verdict at Warrington Coroner’s Court today.

Fans lay tributes in memory of Gary Speed outside Leeds United's home ground, Elland Road (file photo).
Fans lay tributes in memory of Gary Speed outside Leeds United's home ground, Elland Road (file photo).
Image: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Updated 18.30

GARY SPEED MAY not have intended to take his own life, an inquest into the former Wales manager’s death ruled today.

Coroner Nicholas Rheinberg gave the cause of Speed’s death as hanging, but recorded a narrative verdict — in which the death is not attributed to a named individual — as there was insufficient evidence to prove that the action was deliberate.

Speed was found hanged at his Cheshire home on the morning of 27 November last year. He was 42.

His wife, Louise, was present at Warrington Coroner’s Court today where she told the inquest that she had an “exchange of words” with her husband after they returned home from a party on the night before he died, the Telegraph reports.

She also said that Speed had talked about taking his life in a text message days before he died, but that he had later dismissed the idea and assured her that he was “excited” about his life with her and their two sons.

Of Speed’s hanging, Rheinberg ruled that: “The evidence does not sufficiently determine whether this was intentional or accidental.”

In a statement issued through the League Managers Association (LMA) following today’s verdict, the Speed family described Gary’s death as “the worst day of our lives”, but publicly thanked a number of “special individuals and organisations” for their “breathtaking” help and support in the aftermath.

“Thankfully, out of tragedy some good often emerges,” the statement read, “and we feel blessed to have such true friends who are helping each of us come to terms with the circumstances of our bereavement.”

You can contact Samaritans on 1850 60 9090, or contact them via email at jo@samaritans.org.

You can contact Pieta House on 01 601 000 or email mary@pieta.ie

Full text of statement from the Speed family >

Column: We need to put the humanity back into sport performance

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Niall Kelly

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