Coroner: Speed may have killed self accidentally

A coroner ruled Monday that Wales manager Gary Speed may have

killed himself accidentally.

In an inquest at Warrington Coroner’s Court, coroner Nicholas

Rheinberg said Speed died of hanging but that there was

insufficient evidence to prove that he had committed suicide.

Speed’s body was found by his wife on Nov. 27 at their home.

”The evidence does not sufficiently determine whether this was

intentional or accidental,” Rheinberg said, adding that Speed

could have fallen asleep with the cable around his neck while

sitting on stairs in his garage.

”It seems likely that Mr. Speed was sitting for some time with

a ligature around his neck. It may have been that this was some

sort of dramatic gesture, not normally in Mr. Speed’s character,

but nonetheless, a possibility.”

Speed’s widow, Louise, told the inquest Speed had sent a text to

her just days before he died in which he mentioned suicide but that

he also spoke positively and optimistically about the future and

their two sons.

She said her husband’s job as Wales manager placed stress upon

him and their relationship but that they had been ”working

through” the issues.

The first man to play 500 games in the English Premier League

and the youngest member of the midfield that carried Leeds to its

most recent league title in 1992, Speed had overhauled Wales’

ailing national team and coached a young squad to four wins in five

matches before his death at 42.