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He was in such a good mood about the show and said he’d love to come back before Christmas.’‘I just can’t believe it,’ said Savage. I’ve got very close to Gary in the last few years – the guy is a trooper, he’s left two gorgeous kids behind and a beautiful wife.He had everything.‘I spoke to him yesterday and we were laughing and joking – he was saying make sure you don’t get a (mark of) two off Craig (Revel Horwood, the Strictly judge) tonight.He was talking about his kids, how they were really coming on, and talking about playing golf next week.‘Even small things like how he’d just got into Twitter.It’s awful to think someone who was so gifted and so well liked with the rest of his life to look forward to has been cruelly removed.Both Speed’s parents were from Chester but he was born in the Welsh border town of Mancot and was always proud to represent his country.His father Roger played football for Wrexham before returning to his trade as a joiner.
Arriving at about 1am, she said, they had an ‘exchange of words about something or nothing – I can’t even remember what it was.‘Like all couples we would be going through ups and downs in our marriage and we were working through it.’ The inquest heard there was no evidence of depression or previous threats of self-harm, but Mrs Speed admitted that her husband had always been ‘a somewhat closed character’.
Friends have told how he seemed happy and planning for the future when he appeared as a guest on Football Focus which was filmed in Salford on Saturday - an account borne out by the photograph of him beaming alongside a delighted fan.'I think it has been extremely moving.
Obviously here in the north, where he played for so many of the iconic teams, I know he meant an enormous amount to people and people feel very, very sad on his behalf and on his family's behalf.'Presenter Dan Walker, who spent four hours on and off camera with him, said: ‘He was as bubbly as I’ve known him.
Post-mortem tests showed Speed had been slightly above the drink-drive limit.
Police investigations found a damp patch on the stairs in the garage where he was found.‘It may have been that this was some sort of dramatic gesture – not normally in Mr Speed’s character, but nevertheless a possibility,’ the coroner said, adding that he could have slumped forward asleep and suffocated.