Gary Speed’s death for a non football fan
ALAS, I had no idea of Gary Speed’s existence until he ceased to be. How tragic to have reached the end of his life and not be known by me. Can there be sadder fates?
My first assumption on learning of the death of someone whose life was a matter of oblivion to me was: Ah, a satsuma moment. You know, man throttles himself for testicular release with the aid of fruit segment. Anoxia I think it’s called. It’s one of the tabloid faves and usually features a promising politician, RIP.
But no fruit segment was found by Gary’s side. Nor signs of testicular release. People said he was the happiest man that ever lived – he discussed footie morning, noon and night. Why would anyone want to kill themselves in such circs? I couldn’t help thinking: What a blessed release for the poor man.
Now we know he had a tiff with wifey, prior to death, and his own mother says he was a ‘half empty bottle’ sort of person. He had discussed suicide in texts with wifey. Plainly mortality was on his mind. He even went to the bother of placing cable about his neck. At some point he jumped. But according to the inquest judge this is not enough to establish suicide. Perhaps what was missing was a note with a dot pattern of a hanging man. No dots no suicide. Simples.
This is a case. I submit, of a judge quite determined on a ‘narrative verdict’ in the face of the plain facts. Speed was a hero who perhaps might have been in two minds about killing himself as he noosed the rope about his neck. I have never myself done this and most probably neither have you. Once you go to the bother of collecting up all the accoutrements of suicide, it’s likely you will make a serious attempt. He knew his wifey was out of the house, so I think the ‘plea for help’ idea is fanciful to say the least.
The ‘not suicide’ finding perpetuates a nonsense that may have started in Gary’s life: of not facing up to the facts. The sad thing is that he had not properly addressed his psychological depression and nor had anyone else – how could a good-looking success story who’s a cock-c*nter want to be sad? The judge is of a similar mind: let’s pretend things weren’t quite as bad as they appear and give him the benefit of the doubt. Cheers, mate!
A better lesson might be to explore the life and temperament of Mr Speed in the context of a romanticised uber-masculine world so that further hero not-suicides may be avoided in the future. Meantime, let’s pretend….