Gary Speed is dead – time to ruin Louise Speed’s life
GARY Speed’s widow Louise Speed has given evidence at the inquest into the death of the Wales manager.
Key points are:
* The coroner says he may have killed himself by accident
* The word depression is not mentioned once by the coroner
* Louise Speed says they had argued the night before she found his body – she had spent the night in the car
* Louise Speed says her husband texted her an idea that he might kill himself – but he swiftly discounted it and vowed to do best with the couple’s two sons
Our write up of the inquest is here. But what do the news media says? Which part of the story do they evoke in headlines?
Daily Mail – “Gary Speed’s tearful widow reveals she stormed out of their house after row and spent night in the car before she found him hanging in garage”
Sports Illustrated – “Speed spoke of taking life in text message”
Press Association – “Gary Speed ‘found hanged after row'”
Sky News – “Gary Speed’s Death ‘May Have Been Accident'”
Daily Telegraph – “Gary Speed inquest: Wales manager argued with wife Louise before death”
The Sun – “Gary Speed’s row with wife on eve of death”
Metro – “Gary Speed coroner: No evidence to suggest star intended to kill himself”
The Scotsman – “No evidence to suggest Gary Speed intended to take his own life”
Daily Star – “No evidence to suggest Gary Speed intended to take his own life”
Yorkshire Evening Post – “Leeds United legend Gary Speed sent text ‘about taking life'”
Daily Mirror – “Gary Speed may have hanged himself after falling asleep with a rope around his neck”
London Evening Standard – “Gary Speed’s widow: I found him hanged after we had row”
So. What’s the story? So much mileage has been stored in the depression angle – based on no facts whatsoever and milked by the therpay industry – that the news that Gary Speed’s death may have been an accident is stunning. But the widow lives on. And some sections of the press will stare at her. Louise Speed invites no media. She has not taken the celebrity shilling. She has kept her counsel. She has remained dignified and declined offers to talk to the press.
Meanwhile, the Speed family have issued a statement:
Gary’s death and the manner of it, made Sunday 27th November 2011 the worst day of our lives. Throughout the nine weeks since, there have been some very dark moments, which we have all had to find our own different ways to endure.
Now, we have to adapt to the future without a husband, a father, a brother and a son; but Gary’s memory shines brightly in our thoughts and we will forever remember the wonderful times we shared with him and the deep love and affection he offered so freely within our close knit family.
Thankfully, out of tragedy some good often emerges, and we feel blessed to have such true friends who are helping each of us come to terms with the circumstances of our bereavement.
Gary’s funeral was an occasion of great sadness and grief for everyone concerned but it was also a day where we were able to say farewell to him in our own personal and private way.
At this time we wish to reiterate our deep appreciation for the very generous and clearly sincere accolades paid to Gary and his memory by the public and all forms of the media. We remain especially grateful for the sympathetic way that the media has respected the family’s privacy.
The help and encouragement we have received from so many special individuals and organisations leading up to today’s inquest has been truly breathtaking and we must recognise publicly some of those concerned.
The thoughtful way we have been treated by the Cheshire constabulary, which has been represented here today by Detective Inspector Peter Lawless. The considerate way today’s hearing has been conducted by HM Coroner Mr Nicholas Rheinberg.
The practical help given in abundance by Melissa Chappell, whose support and friendship has been so much more to us than simply Gary’s professional agent.
The invaluable life-line provided by the League Managers Association which has been there for us throughout.
We are immensely thankful to all of you and greatly appreciate what you have done for us.
Finally, our thanks go to the FA of Wales which has arranged the Gary Speed Memorial Match against Costa Rica at the Cardiff City Stadium on Wednesday 29th February. This will give everyone whose lives were touched and enriched by Gary’s achievements the opportunity to attend, celebrate his life and pay their final respects. We look forward to seeing you there.
It’s a fitting tribute. And it should be the end of the public spectacle of a man’s suidice. It’s not painless, as the song says. Suicide is messy, horrific and painful. If, indeed, it was suicide…