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Coroner: Speed may have killed self accidentally

Updated: January 30, 2012, 12:57


FILE - In this Sept. 6, 2011 file photo, Wales manager Gary Speed directs his team during their Euro 2012 Group G qualifying soccer match against England at Wembley Stadium, London.  A coroner has ruled that former Wales manager Gary Speed may have killed himself accidentally.  In an inquest at Warrington Coroner's Court, Monday Jan. 30, 2012 coroner Nicholas Rheinberg says Speed died of hanging but

WARRINGTON, England(AP) A coroner ruled Monday that Wales manager Gary Speed may have killed himself accidentally.

In an inquest at Warrington Coroner's Court, coroner Nicholas Rheinberg said Speed died of hanging but that there was insufficient evidence to prove that he had committed suicide.

Speed's body was found by his wife on Nov. 27 at their home.

"The evidence does not sufficiently determine whether this was intentional or accidental,'' Rheinberg said, adding that Speed could have fallen asleep with the cable around his neck while sitting on stairs in his garage.

"It seems likely that Mr. Speed was sitting for some time with a ligature around his neck. It may have been that this was some sort of dramatic gesture, not normally in Mr. Speed's character, but nonetheless, a possibility.''

Speed's widow, Louise, told the inquest that Speed had sent a text to her just days before he died in which he mentioned suicide but also spoke positively and optimistically about the future and their two sons.

She said her husband's job as Wales manager placed stress upon him and their relationship but that they had been "working through'' the issues.

The first man to play 500 games in the English Premier League and the youngest member of the midfield that carried Leeds to its most recent league title in 1992, Speed had overhauled Wales' ailing national team and coached a young squad to four wins in its last five matches before his death at 42.

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