There are very few people who you can describe as a legend in their own lifetime but the footballer/manager Gary Speed is one of them. Hard working, grounded and the ultimate professional he was an example to all young footballers everywhere and he will be sadly missed.
Appearances suggest that he had everything to live for. Clearly Gary felt otherwise and whether the desperation which led him to take his own life built up gradually or was triggered by recent developments we the public may never know. I hope however that his beloved family gain some insight into this tragedy so that they have a chance to come to terms with the loss of a husband, son and father and are able to rebuild their lives in due course. Whatever transpires over the coming days and weeks they can be immensely proud of this talented and unassuming man and his achievements.
There have been times in my life that the depression has been so overwhelming and so suffocating that ending my life seemed the only solution but thankfully I have always been able to see through the shroud of darkness and I never lost the hope that keeps you going. I have a wonderful family, fabulous friends and receive amazing support and comfort from the mental health professionals who know me from way back. For some reason Gary lost that hope and it is sad beyond comprehension that he should feel this was the only way out.
My thoughts are with his family and friends who are facing up to a life without Gary and the void he leaves behind. I hope that the media respects their privacy and allows them to grieve without intrusion and idle speculation.
RIP Gary Speed-Legend.