It's been nearly seven years since Gary Speed tragically took his own life. The demons that tormented him have been a mystery even to his wife, Louise, who he met in school as a teenager.
She still struggles with his loss, and is speaking out about it in a new book written by John Richardson, a friend and journalist.
“It's something I will find hard to forgive Gary for, forever. We were the ones who had to pick up the pieces. Everyone asks me why he did it, but I have no answers. And that's why I will never have any closure.”
When news came through of Gary's death, the shock and sadness were shared to an unusual degree by the wider world. Because here was a genuine, modest man who seemed to have it all. And who was so loved and respected.
“Yes, there was so much love out there for him and that's why the impact it has left is almost indescribable. It rips apart a large part of you which you can never replace because what happened was unnatural,” says Louise.
The manner of his departure from Everton years earlier had left a nasty taste, and rumours were rife at the time, many of them never to be resolved.
Depression, well hidden from even his family, and possible undiagnosed mental illness remain factors to explain the inexplicable loss of a fine Evertonian at the age of just 42.
Gary Speed: Unspoken - The Family's Untold Story, by John Richardson and published by Sport Media, is priced £18.99 and goes on sale Thursday 20 September.
[Louise Speed is not receiving any proceeds from the book. At her request, a donation is being made to the Heads Together campaign.]
» Read the full article at Liverpool Echo
Reader Comments (25)
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1 Posted 18/09/2018 at 13:51:22
Seemed like a true gentleman; but obviously a tortured soul as it appeared he'd been suffering from mental illness since his teens when he was a trainee working with that piece of shit 'Bennell'.
4 kids who he coached have killed themselves. As a father myself, I wouldn't mind a few minutes alone with him now.
2 Posted 18/09/2018 at 15:42:41
I was never satisfied with that answer and was always curious to know what was going through his mind but that is nothing compared to the later tragedy for his family and friends and if there are any answers to be had I'd rather they got them, to be frank.
3 Posted 18/09/2018 at 15:57:37
4 Posted 18/09/2018 at 16:07:33
Such purgatory for the family.
A dreadful event to live and come to terms with and never fully knowing the reason 'why?'
5 Posted 18/09/2018 at 16:19:48
6 Posted 18/09/2018 at 16:49:58
A great talent who left Everton and life far too early.
7 Posted 18/09/2018 at 16:54:21
8 Posted 19/09/2018 at 21:21:21
9 Posted 19/09/2018 at 21:41:25
10 Posted 19/09/2018 at 23:13:07
Down to Kendalls drink problems, so not only have we got this dragged up against Garys wishes, we now have our former manager tarnished as well.
Only thing is though we all knew about Kendalls drinking, so not hard to put two and two together and come up with an easy answer.
None of the above two are here to defend or deny the reason.
11 Posted 19/09/2018 at 23:31:44
Before any revelations, even the toned down ones in the original book, you ask any Blue why Gary left and they said it was because Kendall was drinking too much and there was rumours he got himself into such a state that he couldn't pick the side or deliver the team talk.
Now the revelation is out, everyone can say, yeah that's what I thought, or that's what I heard, or is that all? Kendall's reputation isn't really tarnished as everyone knew he was a pisshead at the end. Speed's reputation is restored, and any theory it might be something else, something even worse, can be put to bed.
So, I'm ok with the "truth" being released.
12 Posted 20/09/2018 at 00:53:26
13 Posted 20/09/2018 at 01:37:18
Having had a family member go down the same path, it's as if (guessing here) there were two people there, but you only saw the outside one. Nobody could tell before, nobody could say why after. The Coroner summed it up in that old archaic, but still viable phrase... 'while the balance of his mind was disturbed'.
14 Posted 20/09/2018 at 04:25:14
Gary's suffering in silence just shows how stigmatised mental health remains in all societies around the world, which makes it so difficult to speak up and ask for help. The book reveals that he had been suffering from his teens with depression and it is truly sad that he never felt able to turn to someone.
15 Posted 20/09/2018 at 07:09:43
16 Posted 20/09/2018 at 09:02:54
17 Posted 20/09/2018 at 09:34:25
Unfortunately Howard had had this problem for quite a while and it didn't help the ultra professional Gary Speed. I knew that some days Gary was taking the training sessions at Bellfield because Howard was "sleeping it off". In the end, Gary had to go and asked for a transfer, he took the brunt of that episode and paid for it every time he revisited Goodison Park.
I hope I wasn't the only Evertonian who wrote to him, at the time he went to Newcastle, and explained I knew the reason he had left and understood why he had to go. I also said that I didn't expect him to reply to my letter but I would always remember his time at Everton for the quality he showed while he was here.
Gary always remained high on my list of favourite Everton Players, especially for his silence on his leaving of Everton.
Howard Kendall will stay on that list, especially as a player. I could talk about his performances for the Blues all day long, brilliant. As a manager, who knows how long he would have stayed at the top if his illness hadn't taken over his ability?
18 Posted 20/09/2018 at 11:20:41
I also always thought that the club should have looked after him better but we don't know what was done to try and help. Howard played and managed when there was a significant drinking culture in football. Perhaps the influx of foreign managers and players did do a great deal to change that culture and thankfully clubs seem to be able to support players and staff better now.
There is still a lot of work to be done though but there are some excellent initiatives in sport to support ex-players and to promote positive mental heath in sport; State of Mind in Rugby is a fantastic example.
19 Posted 20/09/2018 at 12:25:13
Trying to second guess everything from the circumstances to the thought-processes is all part of the process of coming to terms, even if it is ultimately fruitless.
20 Posted 20/09/2018 at 12:29:01
I agree with Steve Fearns, that Speed, was destined for a very good managerial career, and don't think it was any fluke that Wales, finally qualified for a major tournament, and then exceeded all expectations once they got there, on the back of some great work started by Gary Speed.
21 Posted 20/09/2018 at 12:35:12
It came to Paul Rideout and they were giving him some stick over this signing. Apparently Howard turned to one of his directors and said you told me to sign him.
"I bloody never told you to get Rideout — I told you to go and get dried out!" came the reply.
22 Posted 20/09/2018 at 13:16:22
I heard the final straw was when they were coming off at half time (can't remember which game) and Speed picked up what he thought was a water bottle near the bench which turned out to be vodka.
Howard and Gary Speed were always gentlemen who gave their all for the blues and I will certainly remember them both fondly no matter what the pressures of life caused them to do.
RIP, two very true Blues.
23 Posted 20/09/2018 at 14:18:16
"Sometimes you say it best when you say nothing at all".
God bless both men!
24 Posted 20/09/2018 at 14:46:17
25 Posted 20/09/2018 at 18:58:23
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