Gary McAllister and Gary Speed on Football Focus on Saturday. YouTube screengrab

'He was a movie star in my eyes' says shocked Gary McAllister

Former team-mate and friend says he ‘turned to jelly’ when Alan Shearer broke the sad news of Gary Speed’s death yesterday morning.

GARY SPEED’S FORMER Leeds United team-mate Gary McAllister has spoken of the shock he felt when Alan Shearer broke the news of his friend’s death yesterday morning.

The Scot made up a league-winning midfield with Speed, Gordon Strachan and David Batty at Elland Road in 1992.

The pair have been close since those seasons under Howard Wilkinson and the pair appeared on BBC’s lunchtime programme Football Focus on Saturday.

“I couldn’t believe what [Shearer] was saying,” McAllister told Sky Sports News earlier, “It shook me to the bones, I was in shock for most of the day.

“Twenty minutes before we went on air on Saturday, he was the normal Gary Speed to me. He was excited about the prospects of Wales and was upbeat, looking class, immaculately presented… he was a movie star in my eyes.

“With no competitive Wales games until February we were talking about getting some golf organised. There were no signs, nothing to suggest he was troubled. He looked well and things are going well for him at the moment. I could never have thought that 10-12 hours after I saw him I’d be getting that news. It’s a nightmare.

Leeds United celebrate with the League Championship trophy: (back row, l-r) Jon Newsome, Lee Chapman, Imre Varadi, Chris Fairclough, John Lukic, Mel Sterland, Carl Shutt, Eric Cantona, John McClelland, physio Alan Sutton, Peter Haddock; (front row, l-r) manager Howard Wilkinson, Rod Wallace, Tony Dorigo, Gordon Strachan, David Batty, Gary Speed, Gary McAllister, Steve Hodge, Chris Whyte

“After (Football Focus) he was talking with Alan and they were discussing some charity event which was coming up and I couldn’t see anything in Gary that suggested he was depressed or had any feeling of anxiety. He was just the Gary Speed that I know.”

Police said the inquest into Speed’s death will be opened at Warrington Coroner’s Court at 3pm tomorrow.

A book of condolence has been opened by the Football Association of Wales while fans have gathered outside the grounds of Leeds, Newcastle, Everton, Bolton, Sheffield United and elsewhere to pay their respects.

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