At the inquest into the death of ex-Newcastle player Gary Speed on Monday, The coroner for Cheshire, Nicholas Rheinberg, concluded that Mr Speed had died by hanging but added that it was not clear whether his death was accidental or intentional.

He therefore recorded a narrative verdict.

In a statement read after the inquest, the family said the day of his death was the “worst day of our lives”.

They added: “Now we have to adapt to a future without a husband, a father, a brother and a son but Gary’s memory shines brightly in our thoughts and we will forever remember the wonderful times we shared and the deep love he offered so freely with our close-knit family”.

The inquest was told Speed, a father of two, “talked in terms of taking his life”, four days before his death.

Mrs.Speed also said he had talked in terms of taking his life but that he, “dismissed it”, saying that he was, “excited”, about the future with her and their two sons.

Mrs Speed said the text referred to their, “ups and downs” , but went on about, “how important the boys were”, and about, “moving forward”.

The inquest heard that the couple, “had words”, on the night before he was found dead after they had been to a dinner party at a friend’s house.

“We walked in the house and we had an exchange of words about something and nothing”, Mrs Speed said.

Hours later Gary Speed’s body was found and as well as his close family and friends, the whole footballing world was in shock when the news was announced.

A very sad situation for all concerned but especially for those closest to him, especially when  everything is played out in public.

For anybody who has forgotten what a great player Gary Speed was for Newcastle United, we bring you this video compilation tribute of his time in black & white.

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