The sons of tragic footballer Gary Speed have spoken about being haunted by the moment he was found dead.
In their first interview nine years after his death, Ed and Tommy Speed admitted they are still left with questions.
And Tommy, 22, said: “Dad had the perfect life, but something was going on, or something happened…”
Elder brother Ed, 23, revealed: “I remember it vividly. Mum and Dad went out for the night and me and Tommy had a few friends over.
“As they left, Dad reminded us to make sure we were in bed by midnight and that was it.
“The next morning I was woken up by Mum screaming for me, or just screaming, I can’t quite remember.
“She was outside and she had seen Dad through the window of the garage.
“I ran downstairs and she was struggling to breathe and talk. You know, you don’t want to see your mum like that. No one does.
“She was just in shock. She told me not to look in the garage but…it still haunts me what I saw… Dad suffering like that.”
Ed was just 14 at the time and had the dreadful task of breaking the news to his 13-year-old brother.
He continued: “I went back out to Mum and we called the ambulance. I wasn’t really thinking about what was happening, I just knew I needed to help Mum.
“We were in the kitchen speaking to the person on the other end and they talked us through what to do. It was just so unexpected. A complete and utter shock. I couldn’t really comprehend what was going on but at the same time I had so many questions.
“Mum and I knew we had to go and tell Tom.”
Tommy is now studying business management, and playing football, at Adelphi University in New York.
He added: “They came into my bedroom and woke me up.
“Ed just said, ‘Dad’s gone’ and we all hugged. Ed told us that we had to stay strong.
“Dad was the glue that held the whole family together.
“He was always the one who was running family barbecues, getting people together, telling jokes, organising games. He loved being around people who he loved, and he loved us.”
The brothers said that they are thankful for all the lessons their dad taught them. Tommy said: “I learned everything from him.
“It would just be nice to thank him for all that he did for us both.”
Ed added: “We’ve got to get on with it, with life. It’s hard. You often think, ‘would he be happy with what we’ve done?’ or ‘would he be proud?’.
“Sometimes, if I’ve played a good game of football, I want to look at my phone and see that it’s my dad calling to say “well done”. When I graduated with a degree in economics in the summer, I would have liked nothing more than my dad to call me and tell me how proud he was. I know he would be. That’s all he wanted for us. ‘I’d love to know if he thinks we’ve done OK without him.”
Ed went on: “We both know that things would be different if he was still here. He was everything to us, but we also know we have to get on with life.
“I can still hear his voice in my head. That will always be a part of us.”
Gary’s sons admitted that they are both still baffled by the events that led to their dad killing himself aged just 42.
Ed said: “The anger never lasts long. I just miss him. I miss my dad.”
Tommy added: “It feels mean to say I’m angry at him, but sometimes… yeah. But you can’t look back and let that eat you up.
“I still ask questions. We both still ask those questions. We’d be mad not to. He wasn’t depressed. There was just something in his brain. I have always said I can’t quite put my finger on it.
“Dad had the perfect life, but something was going on, or something happened and, for whatever reason, he didn’t look for help.
“That wasn’t him. He would always talk about things but, when it came down to it, he didn’t and I don’t know why.
“I can’t explain it now because he just had so much to look forward to.”
Midfielder Gary played for clubs including Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle and Bolton Wanderers in an impressive career. He was also manager of Wales.
The brothers spoke to BBC host Dan Walker, who was one of the last people to see Gary alive.
For confidential support call the Samaritans in the UK free on 116 123 or visit a local Samaritans branch.
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