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Gary Speed death could have been accident, says coroner

  • Reuters, Monday, January 30, 2012 1:53 PM

During an inquest into the death of former Wales manager Gary Speed, his wife said he had sent a text about committing suicide just days before his death. Louise Speed told a hearing in Warrington, northwest England, that he had dismissed the idea because of their children.

Speed, 42, was found hanged in the garage of his house on Nov. 27. Police said at the time that there were no suspicious circumstances. The coroner - who rules on unexplained deaths in England - recorded a narrative verdict, which does not attribute a definite cause. The coroner said Speed died by hanging but there was not enough evidence to say whether it was accidental or intentional.

(British media outlets, including the Mirror, reported that the coroner said Speed may have hanged himself by accident after "nodding off" while he sat with a rope around his neck on the stairs in his garage.)

Speed played for Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield United in a playing career that spanned 22 seasons. With Leeds he won the last first division title in 1992 and retired after making 535 appearances in the Premier League. He was capped 85 times by Wales, which named Chris Coleman as his successor as manager earlier this month.

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