herald

Saturday 25 November 2017

Gary told me his marriage was in trouble - Shearer

GARY Speed had confided to his friend Alan Shearer that all was not well in his marriage - and a few days before his death he had texted his wife suggesting that suicide was on his mind, the inquest heard.

But Newcastle legend Shearer added that his friend did not appear to be worried about anything when they last met, just hours before his former teammate was found dead.

In a written statement, Mr Shearer, who did not appear at the inquest in person, said they were good friends and told how their families had enjoyed holidays together.

When they met up they "let off steam and really enjoyed each other's company", he said.

On their most recent holiday, in August last year, Mr Shearer said Mr Speed was "more relaxed this year than I have ever seen him".

He added that he was aware of a "couple of issues" between Mr Speed and his wife on the holiday.

"My response was that is usual in a relationship that is so long-standing," the footballer said in his statement.

Laughing

"I think he took the advice well as his words were that he was 'going to give it a go' and 'stick in there'."

Mr Shearer said he last saw Mr Speed at the BBC studios on the Saturday before he died.

"He seemed fine, laughing and joking," he added.

The pair talked about playing in an upcoming charity game and planned to meet up with their wives beforehand.

Then they watched the Stoke and Blackburn game together, "chatting away normally", Mr Shearer said.

"Gary didn't appear worried about anything," he added.

"Gary seemed to be enjoying his job as Wales manager and coped with the pressure well.

"He knew what it was like beforehand and some part of him liked to work under pressure.

"When I left the studio on that Saturday I expected to hear from him on the Monday.

"On Sunday I got the phone call telling me Gary had died. I didn't believe it.

"I was shocked. Gary is probably one of the last people out of my million friends to ever do that.

"It just didn't and still doesn't make sense to me."

hnews@herald.ie

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