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Rest in peace Gary x

Posted 28th November 2011 at 22:21 by Matt_1983

Gary Speed took his own life yesterday. Not but a day later and his face still swims my mind, his voice drifting through and clashing with the sound of the tv. A highlights package of his best goals plays on a loop, left foot and right, booming headers. The effect his death has had on me has been huge; at first i shivered in shock followed by some very emotional tears and a feeling of tragic loss.

I obviously never personally knew Gary and im too young to have appreciated his glory days of his Championship winning Leeds days. He was a stalwart of the Wales team of the nineties but Giggs and Hughes were my heroes. Speed was always just sort of there, a great and reliable player but not at the forefront of my mind when watching a game. The clubs he played for werent particularly high profile during the years he was with them, not in the way of Man United or Arsenal. I must have seen him a good few hundred times on Match of the Day but i never had a particular affection for him, not in the way that Zola, Cantona or Keana stole my heart. He later became manager of my country, Wales, and whilst i took some notice of this and believed he could do a good job, i wasnt overly excited. It wasnt as if Giggsy or Hartson had been appointed. It was just Gary Speed.

So how has his horrible passing hit me so hard? Its as if he were an old friend, not a football player low down a long list of favourite football players. I suppose the way he died has resonated with me, touched a part of my mind i dont like to open too often. As a long term social anxiety sufferer its impossible to live a life free of at least a little bit of depression. Social anxiety drags you down and exhausts you, beats you up and burns you. If Gary Speed killed himself due to depression, which is seemingly the case, then i can identify a little with what drove him to it. But the last 24 hours of sad eyed pondering have also taught me that ive probably never reached the dark depths people like Gary felt such a strong urge to escape from. Ive never truely considered suicide as an option or spent longer than a second with the idea in my mind. Ive too much hope, something poor Gary had obviously lost.

To look at a man like that, with so much to live for and so much success and adulation in his life, and to think he felt the need to take his own life . . . its just so confusing and heartbreaking. How low he must have been. The minds a messed up thing. Perhaps i should consider myself lucky my main nemisis is social anxiety and not the black dog at the door.
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