Gary Speed 1969-2011

If you’re reading this, you’ll be familiar with the story that broke yesterday morning.

This is one of those posts I’d have preferred not have written: it’s an unfathomable tragedy that any 42 year old family man should apparently chose to end his life in such a devastating manner. I didn’t know Gary Speed, but I knew about him: he was one of the best Welsh players of his generation and looked as if he was about to oversee a long overdue revival of the fortunes of the Welsh national team.

The strange thing about Speed’s death is that it comes within two weeks of German referee Babak Rafati attempting to commit suicide before the game between Mainz and Koln in the Bundesliga; last weekend Belgian linesman Chris Schelstraete apparently tried to emulate Herr Rafati. It’s also just over two years since I wrote about German goalkeeper Robert Enke: this article – written by the Daily Telegraph’s Sarah Crompton at the end of September is almost uncannily prescient about what happened this weekend and deserves to be read by a wider audience.

No doubt in the weeks and months to come we may find out more about the inner turmoil that Gary Speed went through on Saturday evening: but at the moment it’s a sad ending to a life that was far too short. Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family and friends: he will be missed.

Gorwedd Mewn Hedd, Gary Speed.

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