Gary Speed was found hanged at his home in Chester on the morning of November 27th, 2011. He was 42. An inquest into his death said it was unable to decide whether it was 'accidental or intentional'.
A full inquest into the death, held at Warrington Coroner's Court on January 30th, 2012, heard that Speed and his wife Louise had been experiencing 'difficulties' in their marriage and had an 'exchange of words' hours before Speed took his own life.
In an emotional and heart-rending testimony, Speed's wife said the couple had experienced 'ups and downs' in their marriage. Speed had texted her four days before his death and 'talked in terms of taking his own life'.
On the night before her husband's body was found hanged, they had been at a dinner party with friends. The party had been high spirited and Speed and the other men at the party had jumped into a swimming pool, seemingly fully clothed. Speed and his wife had left at 12.45am in a taxi and had an 'exchange of words' when they got home, according to Mrs Speed. She told the inquest she had gone for a drive afterwards and had slept in the car outside the home after failing to regain entry when she returned.
At 6am she had looked out of a window to see her husband's body hanging in their garage. She had called the emergency services who had given her advice on how to deliver first aid. But it had been to no avail and he had pronounced dead by medics when they arrived shortly after the emergency call.
Doctors with the Wales football team and one of Speed's former clubs, Sheffield United, told the court that the player had no history of mental illness. Speed's long-time friend and former Newcastle United team mater, Alan Shearer, told the inquest in a statement that during a family holiday with Speed in July 2011 the Wales manager had spoken to him of marital problems but had said that he intended to 'stick with it'. Shearer had never considered it a possibility that his friend would commit suicide. His death 'doesn't make sense', he told the inquest.
Police told the court that there were no suspicious circumstances.
The coroner. Nicholas Rheinberg, recorded the cause of death as hanging but returned a narrative verdict because 'the evidence does not sufficiently determine whether this was intentional or accidental'.