Wife found Gary Speed's body, inquest hears


Wales football manager Gary Speed was found hanged at his home by his wife, an inquest was told today.

The 42-year-old father-of-two was found dead at his Cheshire home on Sunday morning.

Detective Inspector Peter Lawless, of Cheshire Police, told Cheshire coroner Nicholas Rheinberg that Speed's body was found by his wife Louise just before 7am.

He said there appeared to be no suspicious circumstances and a post mortem examination found Speed's death was caused by hanging.

Mr Rheinberg said: "I adjourn this inquest until January 30, 2012. The inquest will be heard in Warrington and will commence at 2pm."

There was a huge media presence at the inquest in Warrington but members of Speed's family did not attend.

The coroner asked the media to "respect the privacy" of Speed's family.

Earlier today Welsh Assembly Members observed a minute's silence in the Senedd, Cardiff Bay, while flags continue to fly at half mast outside the Welsh Assembly buildings Ty Hywel and the Senedd.

Speaking on behalf of the footballer's widow, Louise, and the family, Speed's agent and best man at his wedding Hayden Evans said last night they had been "overwhelmed" with messages of support and condolence.

Tributes to the former Leeds United, Everton and Newcastle United midfielder, also poured in from a host of public and sporting figures, led by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Mr Cameron said: "I know he meant an enormous amount to people and people feel very, very sad on his behalf and on his family's behalf."

The Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford said the organisation had received messages from UEFA and FIFA, with the Welsh flag at FIFA House in Zurich flying at half-mast.

Mr Ford said: "He was such a great person and he is such a loss."

Tottenham winger Gareth Bale, one of the brightest talents in Speed's Wales side, said it was a "massive shock".

"It is a tragedy, everyone still can't get their head around it and all our condolences go out to his family and his kids. It is a hard time," Bale told tottenhamhotspur.com.

Supporters have left scarves, football shirts and flowers across several football stadiums - including Everton's Goodison Park, Leeds United's Elland Road, Newcastle United's St James' Park and The Millennium Stadium and Cardiff City Stadium, where Wales played their home games.

The FAW has opened a book of condolences at its offices in Cardiff allowing fans to express their feelings about Speed's death.