Inquiry into Gary Speed's death opens – but still no clues emerge


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The Independent Online

Gary Speed's family say they have been "overwhelmed" by messages of condolence and support since the footballer's death. The Wales manager, who had two children, was found hanged at his home in Cheshire on Sunday morning, just hours after appearing alongside colleagues on television.

An inquest into Speed's death is expected to be opened and adjourned at Warrington Coroner's Court today.

Speaking outside the star's home yesterday, Speed's agent and best man at his wedding, Hayden Evans, said: "Gary's family would sincerely like to thank all the people that have sent messages of condolence and tributes in what is a very difficult time. We have been overwhelmed by the support and it really has helped."

Tributes to the former Leeds United, Everton and Newcastle United midfielder continued to pour in yesterday as colleagues admitted that the mystery surrounding his apparent suicide will continue for years to come.

Supporters have left scarves, football shirts and flowers across several football stadiums of Speed's former clubs and at the Millennium Stadium and Cardiff City Stadium. Yesterday afternoon, bosses from the Football Association of Wales (FAW) said they were still struggling to come to terms with events.

FAW chief executive Jonathan Ford said it felt odd to be holding a press conference without the Wales manager by his side. Choking back the tears, he said: "It is surreal. I am so emotionally cut up. We can't fathom it, we can't understand it and I think we will be guessing for many years to come. We are all devastated. At the FAW office, we huddled and cried together today."

Friends too expressed their shock. Alan Shearer admitted he is still "numb and shocked" over the death of his close friend and former Newcastle team-mate. In an emotional interview with BBC Radio Five Live's Monday Night Club, Shearer described their final meeting. "We were arranging next weekend. He was coming up to stay at my house with his wife and we were going up to various charity dinners. We left the studio at half past two and I walked over to Old Trafford to go and watch Newcastle. I shook his hand and said, 'See you next weekend' – and unfortunately I won't," he said.

Officers were yesterday preparing to speak to the 42-year-old's widow and two sons about his death. A spokeswoman for Cheshire Police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.