Sunday, 27 November 2011

Gary Speed

Sunday 29th December started out like every other Sunday - catch up on whatever tv I missed on Sunday, swearing at the wi-fi as I couldn't connect to the internet, few jobs to be done before cooking a roast dinner. Consequently I missed out on the news that Gary Speed had died.

The first I heard was looking at Twitter on my phone and seeing a series of tweets all saying RIP Gary Speed. That can't be right I thought to myself and checked the BBC website. There it was. The stunning news that Gary Speed had died at the age of 42. My brain couldn't quite take this in. Gary Speed dead? He was on live tv the day before on Football Focus which I had missed, despite Chris Powell being interviewed for it. Gary Speed couldn't be dead!

To me Gary Speed was a brilliant footballer who I did have the pleasure of seeing play. A player that everyone seemed to love and admire and I don't think was ever booed by the fans of teams he left, although I could be wrong. A player who I learnt today was third on the list of players who had made the most Premier League appearances. A manager who was turning Wales into a decent football team and had a bright future ahead of him.

I discovered that he had committed suicide and my initial reaction was that can't be right. I had seen and heard Gary recently when watching Wales play and he didn't look depressed. But that's the thing - depression is a hidden illness and one that not much is known about.

I have previously written a blog about my struggles with depression. I am grateful that at my lowest I have not yet contemplated suicide, but I know that one day it could happen to me. I also know of people who suffer and have contemplated taking their own lives because they cannot see that their life will get better - ever.

All I would ask if that any of my readers are depressed or know someone who is depressed, they seek help either for themselves or their family or friends. Please visit your GP and they can and will help.

RIP Gary Speed