Robbie asks grief’s most haunting question: Why?

Tribute: Football remembers the life of 'lovely bloke' Gary Speed
Tribute: Football remembers the life of 'lovely bloke' Gary Speed
0
Have your say

THERE’S nothing else to talk about. No other topic has any meaning now.

After two days of tributes, tears and soul searching we’re still scratching our heads and asking why.

So much achieved, a loving family, a full life in the present and the promise of future glory.

Why would a man with charm, talent, good looks and a compelling personality seek to end the life that had presented him with all those gifts?

A man so animated and enthusiastic on Football Focus on Saturday lunch-time, dead by his own hand on Sunday morning.

All football fans will remember where they were when they heard about the death of Gary Speed.

I never met him but James Shield and one or two at The Star did and they say the same about him as every other invited to comment over the weekend.

Lovely bloke, down to earth, can’t believe it.

But inevitably all the shock, emotion and hurt will create an unstoppable force that wants to know why. The information vaccuum we are in now will inevitably be filled and there will be dark days for his family and friends as the world pieces together his last hours and seeks to find a reason for his tragic end.

People commit suicide when they are unbalanced by depression or illness or when there is something so terrible in their lives that they can’t bear to face the consequences.

His much-maligned mate, Robbie Savag,e who tends to drift effortlessly and inexplicably between wisdom and buffoonery cut a moving and dignified figure yesterday as he choked back tears on TV and radio.

He was hurt and bewildered and we could see his pain as he wrestled with grief’s cruelest taunt: ‘Why? Why? Why?

People who knew the former Blades manager at Bramall Lane are asking how the man they knew and loved could be so low as to have to end it all.

All are stunned. Press officer Kevin Cookson has been at Bramall Lane for ten years.

“It’s unreal. A lot of people knew him a lot better than I did but I have some great memories. He always treated everyone the same, whether they had 100 international caps or were a cleaner at Bramall Lane,” said Kevin.

“He was that type of bloke. He touched the lives of lots of people. He was happy to talk about you instead of himself, despite all he had achieved in football and in life. He was here for nearly three years as a player, coach and manager and he never changed a bit.

“I used to drive his car to away games sometimes to London or Swansea or wherever so he could travel down on the team bus then go straight home after the game.

“He trusted me to pick his car up on Friday nights, take it home and have his brand new top-of-the-range Audi or BMW on the drive at home and be checking it every five minutes. I used to worry about it but he would laugh it off. One time we were in Hungary on a pre-season night out with the team and ended up in a bar full of younger people. He came over and said: “Come on, Cooky, this is not for you and me, let’s go and have a drink in the hotel.

“We got in a taxi and within a minute he was talking football with the driver, chatting as equals despite language difficulties and all his experience and status in the game. They were just two blokes talking football. That’s just how he was. A top bloke.”