Tag Archives: sleep

Heather Watson diagnosed with glandular fever after Miami Open

Concern for weary Watson as British star is diagnosed with glandular fever

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

16:04 GMT, 3 April 2013

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UPDATED:

16:51 GMT, 3 April 2013

Heather Watson has been diagnosed with glandular fever.

Blood tests after the Sony Open in Miami revealed traces of the virus and Watson, who is set to be overtaken by Laura Robson as British No 1 next week, has been told to rest and recover.

Watson, 20, is at the tail end of the illness and is not expected to miss any of the summer tournaments.

Virus: Blood tests after the Miami Open last week showed British No.1 Heather Watson had Glandular Fever

Virus: Blood tests after the Miami Open last week showed British No.1 Heather Watson had Glandular Fever

Speaking to the LTA, Watson said: 'I had to do some blood tests after Miami and the results have shown that I have traces of glandular fever (mono) in my system.

'There is no prescription for this other than complete rest but the good news is that the doctors have told me I am at the tail end of the fever.

'This means I have been trying to compete through the symptoms for some time.'

She continued: 'I have been struggling with both training and playing matches and felt so tired and exhausted for months but now that the doctors have found the cause of this, it explains everything that has been happening to me physically and mentally.

Slowed: Watson admitted to feeling 'burnt out' following her first round exit to Ayumi Morita in Miami

Slowed: Watson admitted to feeling 'burnt out' following her first round exit to Ayumi Morita in Miami

'I am actually relieved to know what is wrong so that I can get myself on the mend.

'I hope to recover as soon as possible by resting my body and getting lots of sleep. I already feel better from being at home for a week, and am looking forward to getting back on Tour soon.'

Watson crashed out to Alumina Morita in the first round in the Sony Open in Miami and admitted she was feeling 'burnt out.' She said she would take a break from tennis to recover, but changed her mind the following day.

Recovery: Watson, who will be replaced as British No.1 by Laura Robson next week, has been told to rest

Recovery: Watson, who will be replaced as British No.1 by Laura Robson next week, has been told to rest

Iain Bates, the LTA's head of women's tennis, said: 'First of all, get well soon, Heather, from the whole team.

'We all know she'll bounce back better than ever. Heather's focus will be on her recovery, and we will do whatever we can to support Heather and help that process.'

Ryder Cup 2012: Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson battle for the record nobody wants

Tiger and Phil battle for the record nobody wants on thrilling final day at Medinah

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UPDATED:

23:16 GMT, 30 September 2012

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson were battling over an unwelcome Ryder Cup record on Sunday – as the American who has suffered the most defeats in the event.

Woods suffered his third loss of the week in Saturday's fourballs alongside Steve Stricker, beaten on the 18th green by Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald.

That was the former World No 1's 17th Ryder Cup loss and at the time matched the total of Mickelson, who famously lost twice on the opening day at Oakland Hills in 2004 when paired with Woods.

Handing it to him: Tiger Woods (left) conceded the final hole against Francesco Molinari

Handing it to him: Tiger Woods (left) conceded the final hole against Francesco Molinari

RYDER CUP 2012

Click here to read the full report from Medinah

The pair held the joint record overnight – until Mickelson was stunned on the final green by Justin Rose in the singles last night, making him top of the charts with 18 losses.

Woods has struggled here and his old coach Butch Harmon admits to being 'speechless' at some of the shots he played on Saturday.

And on Sunday, he was sent out last by captain Davis Love in the decisive singles facing Italian Francesco Molinari.

Woods had insisted he was 'absolutely' fine with Love's decision to leave him out on Saturday morning, adding: 'It was nice to be fresh, no doubt.

'This is a long grind to go all five. I've done it before and it's hard. I felt great and it was nice to kind of sleep in and get a little bit of rest.

The record nobody wants: Phil Mickelson (pictured) and Woods were battling to be the American with most losses in the Ryder Cup

The record nobody wants: Phil Mickelson (pictured) and Woods were battling to be the American with most losses in the Ryder Cup

'I watched the guys on TV and tried to get out here and watch them a little bit (but) captain says, “Hey, it's cold out here, stay inside, stay warm and be ready for your match”.'

'I put so much effort into that last match yesterday afternoon, I was pretty spent. Five matches in three days is a lot, and hey, I'm not young anymore. I'm one of the older guys.'

Asked about his form, Woods added: 'I've played well the last two afternoons and didn't get a point.

It's tough. 'I'm feeling good about my game but just, unfortunately, haven't got a point.

'I played terrible in the morning, really, really struggled. I turned around in the afternoon and we ran into a guy (Nicolas Colsaerts) who made more putts than anyone I've ever seen.'

Just didn't happen: Woods was left out on Saturday morning by Davis Love

Just didn't happen: Woods was left out on Saturday morning by Davis Love

Scott Quigg plays down Carl Frampton talk on eve of Rendall Munroe fight

Quigg plays down Frampton talk ahead of bantamweight blockbuster with Munroe

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UPDATED:

16:02 GMT, 15 June 2012

British super-bantamweight champion Scott Quigg insists he is unconcerned by Carl Frampton's persistent calls for a blockbusting domestic showdown.

Quigg puts his 24-fight unbeaten record on the line tomorrow night at Manchester Velodrome when he meets Leicester's former European king and world-title challenger Rendall Munroe (24-2) to contest the interim WBA crown.

The 23-year-old believes it is a clash between the country's top two operators at 8st 10lbs and is irked by the vociferous claims coming from Commonwealth champion Frampton – protege of Irish ring legend Barry McGuigan – and his camp.

Head-to-head: Scott Quigg and Rendall Munroe square off on the eve of their bantamweight showdown

Head-to-head: Scott Quigg and Rendall Munroe square off on the eve of their bantamweight showdown

'The talk has gone away for me because any time anyone mentions it I just pay no attention,' said Quigg.

'I'm not bothered about Carl Frampton in the slightest. I'm fighting for bigger and better things at the moment.

'If the fight's ever made, it's made. If it's not, I won't lose any sleep over it.

'I don't know (whether the bout will happen), he might get beaten in his next fight.'

Quigg accepts he must improve himself to avoid such a fate against Munroe, 32, having climbed off the canvas to overcome Wales' Jamie Arthur last time out in February.

'I got put down because of a lack of concentration, because the fight was so easy,' he said. 'I'd not been hit in three rounds.

'If I do that in this fight it could be all over, so there's no way there'll be any lack of concentration. I'll be switched on until the final bell.

Fight talk: Impressive Irishman Carl Frampton wants to fight Quigg

Fight talk: Impressive Irishman Carl Frampton wants to fight Quigg

'In my eyes, Rendall's number one until I beat him because of what he's done in the past. He's fought at the highest level – I've never touched that level.'

Victory would clear a route to such company, but the highly-rated Bury prospect is happy to bide his time.

WBA champion-proper Guillermo Rigondeaux – a former sparring partner of Quigg's during one of his annual training trips to California – underlined his status as one of the sports' most scintillating talents with a five-round demolition of Teon Kennedy in Las Vegas last weekend.

'I'm a realist, I'm at least 18 months away from someone like him,' Quigg added.

'This is a fight to get me ready for someone like that. The guy is something else.'

On Saturday's undercard, Sheffield veteran Ryan Rhodes bids to regain the European light-middleweight title against big-punching Belorussian Sergey Rabchenko, while St Helens middleweight Martin Murray returns to the ring for the first time since his creditable draw with WBA ruler Felix Sturm to face French champion Karim Achour.

London 2012 Olympics: Lizzie Simmonds won"t be losing sleep

I won't lose more sleep over Olympics, insists insomniac Simmonds

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UPDATED:

23:05 GMT, 4 June 2012

Sleepless: Lizzie Simmonds

Sleepless: Lizzie Simmonds

Lizzie Simmonds hopes her rivals will find it difficult to sleep the night before the Olympic 200 metres backstroke final.

For once, it might even things up for a girl who has struggled with insomnia since she was 12.

For the 21-year-old, racing in the pool as fast as her mind does when the bedroom light goes out has been a challenge which has afflicted her ever since she began to swim competitively.

It is one she has yet to overcome consistently, but at least waking up exhausted will be nothing new to her in London.

Simmonds said: ‘There are a lot of people who won’t sleep before their race because they are nervous and excited about it. They will get up the next morning and think, “Oh my God, I haven’t had any sleep”. For me that’s not an issue. I’ll just think, “It’s the same as three nights ago, it doesn’t really make any difference”.’

It was swimming which threw Simmonds into the irregular sleep pattern from which her mind has yet to recover.

She explained: ‘I have been a bad sleeper as long as I can remember, but it was exacerbated by my younger swimming years. I used to get up to train at 4am but only four times a week. I’d be up at four one morning, then at 11 the next, so I was alternating between having two or three hours’ sleep one night to having 11 or 12 the next night.

‘I got used to being unsettled, coping on not having a lot of sleep, doing a full school day and then having another training session at 7pm to 9.30pm.

I started doing that at the age of
12 till 17 when I left for Loughborough University — five years of full
training like that.’

Advice, sleep specialists, writing lists to empty her mind, sleeping pills, Simmonds has tried the lot — to no lasting avail. What makes matters worse is that her insomnia is irregular. She never knows when she will fall asleep quickly or when she will spend two or three hours staring at the bedroom ceiling trying to calm her mind and convert thought into a relaxed stupor.

Home hope: Simmonds hopes to taste success at the London Olympics

Home hope: Simmonds hopes to taste success at the London Olympics

And then there is her swimming roommate Fran Halsall, who can fall asleep instantly.

‘Fran falls asleep as soon as her head hits the pillow so usually I’ll go and read my book in the bathroom. It’s something I have done for a number of years being a bad sleeper. Fran’s the easiest person to get on with and we’ve shared so much over the years that there’s generally not too much of a problem if I’m up a bit longer than her.

‘I go through phases of being bad and good as every insomniac does and I do struggle with jet lag so I’m always off to the doctor to get sleeping pills, but obviously the more you take, the more you get used to them so they don’t work anyway.

‘And it’s not something that is
necessarily worse coming up to a competition. I have been to some and
have been out at 10pm every night. I think, “What’s going on”

‘Then others when it’s been really bad and I’ve literally not slept throughout the week. If it is one way or the other at the Olympics, it’s not going to be a major deal.’

Golden girls: Simmonds with British team-mate Gemma Spofforth

Golden girls: Simmonds with British team-mate Gemma Spofforth

Simmonds is a fascinating character. Known as the team brainbox, it is not just at night that her mind is fully occupied.

Whether it is reading Pride and Prejudice to complete her English Literature A level or indulging her passion for still life painting, life in the Olympic village for her will assume a different rhythm than for most athletes.

‘I can’t be happy with just sitting around watching TV. I do need something to fill my time and it’s something I think about a good few weeks before I go anywhere. Whether it’s painting, work or books, what am I going to take to amuse me, basically

‘When we went to a training camp in Florida, I always had my paints out on the table and because it was Caitlin McClatchey’s birthday the other swimmers kept coming in and making homemade cards with my paints.

‘I have watercolours but I don’t really know why or how I got into it other than that I used to draw and paint a lot when I was younger.

‘I’m no budding artist who is going to have an exhibition, it’s just something I enjoy doing.’

Plenty of artists have been tormented souls. Lizzie Simmonds could be the first to become an Olympic champion.

Brendan Rodgers will succeed at Liverpool: Jamie Redknapp

Classy Rodgers will pass the Kop test by introducing tiki-taka to Anfield

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UPDATED:

21:47 GMT, 31 May 2012

I spent some time with Brendan Rodgers
when I started my coaching badges at Chelsea. He was reserve-team
manager then and I could see he had something about him.

We have spoken since about his
coaching methods and his football philosophy. This is it: ‘The other
team can’t score against you if they haven’t got the ball.’

He wants his teams to pass in all
areas. He has used a system that has worked in Spain, especially for
Barcelona — principally the two centre halves split, the full backs
push on and the holding midfielder steps in and plays from there.
Everyone is encouraged to get on the ball, take risks, pass it, keep it.
Liverpool will be playing the tiki-taka style.

High flier: Liverpool want Brendan Rodgers to continue the run of success he had as boss of Swansea

High flier: Liverpool want Brendan Rodgers to continue the run of success he had as boss of Swansea

He won’t change at Liverpool, but he
will need time to implement his way of playing. The Liverpool crowd will
be patient, because they love and understand their football and will
quickly see what he is trying to achieve.

Liverpool used to pass teams to sleep,
but in recent times some of the managers they have had sent the players
to sleep in training, with sessions based on stopping the opposition.
At times, Liverpool supporters have been starved of good football.

This squad should be excited about
working with Brendan because he won’t waste a training session, where he
will be working with the ball and teaching them how to break down other
teams.

When you are working for a good coach, players should go home every day thinking: ‘I’ve learned something there.’ Coaches should educate their players and this man does that.

Players go into work wondering what they will discover next. That is one of his strengths. I remain a Kenny Dalglish fan, but the board have decided that one cup and eighth place is not a good enough return. This has been a difficult season for Liverpool and so it is not a bad time for Brendan to be stepping in.

Audition: Swansea were clapped off the pitch at Anfield after outplaying Liverpool for long periods during last season's 0-0 draw

Audition: Swansea were clapped off the pitch at Anfield after outplaying Liverpool for long periods during last season's 0-0 draw

Over the last 10 years, it’s been one step forward and then two back and, even though I believe there were signs of healthy recovery under Dalglish, they finished 37 points behind the top two.

Liverpool played with less fear and more freedom last season, although their home form was very poor.

Brendan will need more goals to come from midfield: at Swansea last season, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Joe Allen and Nathan Dyer scored 16 Premier League goals between them. Steven Gerrard, Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing scored seven. This is where Liverpool come up well short.

I expect Rodgers to hijack the Sigurdsson deal (Swansea are trying to take him permanently from Hoffenheim) and I expect him to try to get Allen, too. Neither would look out of place in a Liverpool shirt.

There could be a long road ahead for Liverpool, but this has been a reality check for the fans. They say they wanted Jose Mourinho or Pep Guardiola, but Liverpool finished eighth — and were behind Everton, despite having a far superior squad. The club have done just fine by getting Rodgers.

Significant: Rodgers masterminded a 1-0 win over champions Manchester City

Significant: Rodgers masterminded a 1-0 win over champions Manchester City

They have got to grow again into a force and they haven’t got Guardiola, but they may have the next Guardiola. As a former captain of the club, I am excited by this appointment and the owners should be congratulated for investing in a young British coach. Manchester United did that when they appointed Sir Alex Ferguson.

Brendan inherits a strong squad but he needs to improve it and maybe he will raid Swansea.

When he took over there, he improved players. Some of them couldn’t wait to get the ball as far away as possible, but now they are happy on the ball. Ashley Williams, the centre half, is a good example.

This is a step up for a young manager, at 39, but he has suffered a setback before, when he was sacked by Reading. So this is not like Andre Villas-Boas, who had never encountered difficulty in his career before and walked into a brick wall at Chelsea.

Rodgers is not inheriting a difficult group of players, either. They will welcome him and enjoy his approach to playing football. In return, he should embrace the knowledge and quality in his dressing room.

Influential: Joe Allen (right) holds off the challenge of Jordan Henderson

Influential: Joe Allen (right) holds off the challenge of Jordan Henderson

His captain, Gerrard, has so much to offer and Brendan will know that, on and off the pitch, Jamie Carragher is worth tapping into. I would go a step further and offer Jamie a formal coaching role to extend his influence at the club.

One final point: the Liverpool fans who think the club have appointed a manager who didn’t want them because he turned down an interview are wrong. He didn’t want to be part of a beauty contest.

His audition came last season in two matches when his Swansea team took four points off Liverpool in the Premier League.

Malaysian Open 2012: Louis Oosthuizen makes solid start on day one

Oosthuizen bids to bounce back from Masters woe with strong start at Malaysian Open

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UPDATED:

12:00 GMT, 12 April 2012

Louis Oosthuizen shrugged off the disappointment of his Masters play-off defeat to Bubba Watson to make a strong start at the Malaysian Open.

Former Open champion Oosthuizen, who narrowly missed out on his second major crown at Augusta on Sunday, showed no signs of a mental hangover as he shot six birdies and an eagle in an opening-round 66.

His close friend, South African compatriot and playing partner Charl Schwartzel held the lead at the end of the first day following a sparkling eight-under 64, which included nine birdies.

Strong start: Louis Oosthuizen is looking to bounce back from his Masters disappointment at the Malaysian Open

Strong start: Louis Oosthuizen is looking to bounce back from his Masters disappointment at the Malaysian Open

Schwartzel, like Oosthuizen, had a 30-hour journey from the United States to Kuala Lumpur – he handed over the green jacket to Watson after winning the event last year – and was relieved to have felt few ill-effects.

'I felt surprisingly good today,' Schwartzel told the European Tour's official website.

'I got a good night's sleep and woke up this morning before the alarm.

'The tiredness seems to catch me more in the afternoon than the morning so it felt pretty good.

'I played very well today. It has been some time coming now because I have been working really hard for the last couple of months and I haven't had anything happen for me.

'It could have been one or two lower as I missed a couple of chances towards the end there but I am happy with 64 – I haven't shot a number like that for a while.'

Pairing up: Oosthuizen was partnered on the course by compatriot Charl Schwartzel

Pairing up: Oosthuizen was partnered on the course by compatriot Charl Schwartzel

Oosthuizen believes himself and Schwartzel adapted well to the course after a hectic few days.

'It was a long haul getting here,' he said. 'I think me and Charl knew the first round concentration levels won't be great, but we did well.

Golf blog

'I knew the swing was still good. It was just adapting to the weather and the green speed, but I putted beautifully again today and hope to keep it going for the week.

'I feel like I'm swinging well. I think a lot of times, we're used to a lot of travel and we adapt quickly.

'We knew there was always going to be one tough round which is normally the first one and luckily for us, it was early in the morning. We can have a nice rest now.'

In the swing: Jeev Milkha Singh shot an impressive opening round 65

In the swing: Jeev Milkha Singh shot an impressive opening round 65

Jeev Milkha Singh is second after an opening 65 – which included an eagle at the par-five 10th – one shot ahead of Oosthuizen, American Jason Knutzon and fellow Indian Jyoti Randhawa.

Scotland's Stephen Gallacher is one of three players in a tie for fifth after a 67.

Amir Khan plans to retire aged 28 in three years

Three more years and I'm out… Khan reveals plans to quit boxing after he turns 28

Amir Khan has revealed his plans to retire from boxing at the age of 28.

That means the 25-year-old two-time world champion aims to hang up his gloves in just three years.

Hanging up his gloves: Amir Khan has revealed he will be retiring from boxing in three years, at the age of 28

Hanging up his gloves: Amir Khan has revealed he will be retiring from boxing in three years, at the age of 28

Khan, who controversially lost his WBA and IBF lightweight titles to Lamont Peterson last December in Washington, spoke about his thirst to become world champion again.

'I’m not even at my peak yet. I’m already a two-time world champion, winning it again is not a problem.'

But he added: '/02/29/article-2108374-11F997E1000005DC-419_634x771.jpg” width=”634″ height=”771″ alt=”In love: The 25-year-old has just become engaged to 20-year-old New York student Faryal Makhdoom last month” class=”blkBorder” />

In love: The 25-year-old has just become engaged to 20-year-old New York student Faryal Makhdoom last month

Smouldering: The boxer relaxes on a chair during the shoot

Smouldering: The boxer relaxes on a chair during the shoot

But despite being a tough boxer, Amir admitted he was scared of bugs.

Out now: the April issue of Esquire

Out now: the April issue of Esquire

He said: 'I don’t like spiders. If I see one in
my bedroom I have to call my whole family and , even when they do take
it out, I won’t sleep in that room for a couple of days or I’ll sleep at
my parents.'

The boxer became engaged to 20-year-old New York student Faryal Makhdoom last month.

The couple made it official by exchanging rings in front of 1,000 of their nearest and dearest at a lavish engagement party.

They celebrated with a 150,000 bash at the Bolton Wanderers' Reebok Stadium.

Friends including Ricky Hatton watched
as Amir presented his wife-to-be with a 100,000 platinum ring
encrusted with three staggering diamonds.

In return, beautiful Faryal gave her beau with an equally bling platinum ring.

Despite his sporting success, Amir told Esquire magazine that he wouldn't want his children taking up the sport – hoping they will instead turn out fr his beloved football team Bolton.

'They can train, but I wouldn’t want them to go into a fight. I don’t know how my parents do it and, actually, my mum can’t do it anymore.

'My kids can be football players instead.'

Read the full Amir Khan interview in the April issue of Esquire – on sale tomorrow.

Gary Speed inquest: Wife slept in car hours before his death

Speed's widow admits to sleeping in car following 'words' hours before Wales manager hanged himself

Gary Speed's widow admitted that she stormed out of their house after an argument and spent the night in the car hours before he was found hanged.

Louise Speed, 41, made the revelation during the inquest into the former Wales manager's death at Warrington Town Hall in Cheshire.

Coroner Nicholas Rheinberg returned a narrative verdict and ruled there was not enough evidence to say it was intentional. However, Speed, 42, had sent a text to his wife in the days before he died that had 'talked in terms of taking his life'.

Grief: Louise Speed, 40, pictured today leaving the inquest, revealed how she left the family home after a row and could not get back in. She discovered her husband Gary hanged the next morning

Grief: Louise Speed, 40, pictured today leaving the inquest, revealed how she left the family home after a row and could not get back in. She discovered her husband Gary hanged the next morning

Mrs Speed said they had 'had words' the night before he was found hanging in the
garage and she had walked out. She said: 'We walked in the house and we had an exchange of
words about something and nothing.'

She added: 'I can't even remember what it was.'

'I suggested I would go for a drive. He blocked the back door and said “You are not going anywhere”.

'I went upstairs and lay on the bed for probably about five or ten minutes. Then I decided to go for a drive, to clear my mind (and for) space to think.'

She drove to the 'top of the road' – but her husband did not respond to her call when she tried to ring. After driving back to the house he again did not reply so she slept in the car because she had locked herself out.

'I
could see him on the stairs. His toes were in contact with the step' –
Louise Speed recalls the moment she found her husband hanged

After getting some sleep she woke up at about 6am and went to the outside bathroom.

She said she noticed some shed keys
missing which were usually stored there and went to the shed to see if
Gary was there, before moving to the garage.

The widow broke down in tears as she
described walking to the rear of the of the house and seeing her
husband's body suspended on stairs from through the window.

'I can't even remember what it was': Mrs Speed, 40, told the coroner yesterday that they had a petty argument

'I can't even remember what it was': Mrs Speed, 40, told the coroner yesterday that they had a petty argument

After a brief pause to recover her
composure, Mrs Speed said: 'I could see him on the stairs. His toes were
in contact with the step.'

She said she then woke their two teenage sons to open up the house and called the emergency services.

On their advice, she cut her husband to the ground as paramedics were dispatched to the home
near Chester on November 27.

The inquest heard that investigators believed Mr Speed had been sitting
on the stairs in his garage with the ligature around his neck.

Mr Rheinberg said: 'It may have been that this was some sort of dramatic gesture, not
normally in Mr Speed's character, but nonetheless, a possibility.'

Mr Rheinberg added that Mr Speed may have sat there for some time
and “nodded off to sleep” with the cable around his neck.

The couple had spent their last
evening together at a dinner party at a friend's house where Mr Speed
and the other men had jumped into the swimming pool.

Mr Rheinberg described their behaviour
as being 'over-boisterous' but Mrs Speed said that was 'quite normal'
and said the evening had been 'all good fun'.

Gary Speed's mother Carol

Roger Speed, Gary's father, at the inquest today

Inquest: Gary Speed's mother Carol arrives at the hearing, left, and his father, Roger, can be seen at the inquest, right

Drawing from the Gary Speed inquest; Louise Speed

Gary Speed inquest; Coroner Nicholas Rheinberg

These court drawings from the inquest show Louise Speed in tears while giving evidence and Coroner Nicholas Rheinberg, who returned a narrative verdict

The couple had arranged to leave
their car at the house because they planned to drink, and were taken
home at around 12.45am by a pre-arranged taxi. But shortly after they
returned home the couple had 'an exchange of words about something'.

When asked by Mr Rheinberg if there had been 'some degree of stress with the relationship at this
time', she agreed and said there had been 'ups and downs' in their marriage.

Mrs Speed said her husband was forced to spend a lot of time away from home as Wales manager.

Mrs Speed said management and coaching, first with
Sheffield United and then Wales, had put 'something of a strain on him'.

The Welsh role was supposed to be
part-time but he was spending 'more time there (at work) than the
'family man' thought he would.

Mrs Speed agreed that 'for both of us
it was difficult', with periods travelling abroad adding to his
'separation' from his family.

The coroner asked: 'Would it be fair
to say there was some degree of stress with the relationship at this
time' and Mrs Speed agreed.

She added: 'Like all couples we would be going through ups and downs in our marriage and we were working through it.'

Last moments: Louise Speed, pictured with her husband last year, cut her husband down after her teenage sons let her back into the house

Last moments: Louise Speed, pictured with her husband last year, cut her husband down after her teenage sons let her back into the house

Speaking in hushed tones, she added: 'He was a somewhat closed character.

'He liked to take on board everyone else's problems and try to help but was not one to open up himself. He was a very private person in a very public role.'

Four days before he died, Gary Speed had text his wife talking 'in terms of taking his life', the inquest heard.

But
Mrs Speed said that immediately after the reference to suicide in their
text exchange, Speed began referring immediately to 'moving forward and
how me and the boys were so important to him'.

She said he had never spoken in that way (about self-harm) before and had never previously harmed herself.

The day before he died, the 42-year-old former
footballer had appeared happy and optimistic during an appearance on
the BBC1 show Football Focus.

In
a statement read out at the inquest, Newcastle legend Alan Shearer said
his friend's death made no sense as Mr Speed did not appear to be
worried about anything when they last met at the BBC studios hours
before his death.

He said: 'He seemed fine, laughing and joking. Gary didn't appear worried about anything.

'Gary seemed to be enjoying his job as Wales manager and coped with the pressure well.

'He knew what it was like beforehand and some part of him liked to work under pressure.

Row: Louise Speed left the family home, pictured, near Chester, and went for a drive after a row Hours later she discovered her husband hanged in the garage

Row: Louise Speed left the family home, pictured, near Chester, and went for a drive after a row Hours later she discovered her husband hanged in the garage

ALAN SHEARER'S STATEMENT

Gary Speed confided to Alan Shearer that his marriage was in difficulties but he had vowed to 'stick in there', the inquest heard.

The former England striker (pictured), a close friend of Speed, had bumped into him at the BBC studios in Salford hours before he died.

Shearer said in a statement read to the coroner that the Wales manager's marriage issues were nothing out of the ordinary in a long-term relationship.

The Shearers and the Speeds had previously holidayed together.

Shearer said in the statement: 'Gary said there were a couple of issues between him and Louise.

'I said that is usual in a relationship that longstanding.

'He said: “I'm going to give it a go and stick in there.”

'Louise seemed relaxed and it seemed to me it was just being worked through.'

'When I left the studio on that Saturday I expected to hear from him on the Monday. On Sunday I got the phone call telling me Gary had died.

'I didn't believe it. I was shocked. Gary is probably one of the last people out of my million friends to ever do that.

'I had only seen him the day before and he seemed fine, we had plans for the following week too. It just didn't and still doesn't make sense to me.'

He added that their families had
enjoyed holidays together and on their most recent holiday, in August last year, Mr
Speed was “more relaxed this year than I have ever seen him”.

He added that he was aware of a “couple of issues” between Mr Speed and his wife on the holiday.

He said: “My response was that is usual in a relationship that is so
long-standing. I think he took the advice well as his words were that he
was 'going to give it a go' and 'stick in there'.”

Cheshire coroner Nicholas Rheinberg ruled that there is no evidence to suggest Gary Speed intended to take his own life.

In
a narrative verdict, he gave the cause of death as hanging but said
'the evidence does not sufficiently determine whether this was
intentional or accidental'.

In
a statement read out after the inquest, Mr Speed's family said the day
of his death was the 'worst day of our lives' but his memory 'shines
brightly in our thoughts'.

'Gary’s death and the manner of it,
made Sunday 27 November 2011 the worst day of our lives,' it read.

'Throughout
the nine weeks since, there have been some very dark moments, which we
have all had to find our own different ways to endure.

'Now, we have to adapt to the future
without a husband, a father, a brother and a son; but Gary’s memory
shines brightly in our thoughts and we will forever remember the
wonderful times we shared with him and the deep love and affection he
offered so freely within our close knit family.'

Mr Speed's mother, Carol Speed, told how he 'loved his sons completely' but described him as a 'man of few words'.

Speaking
about his appointment as Wales manager, Mrs Speed said: 'Gary said
there was no greater honour than to manage his country in the game he
loved.

'Although Gary enjoyed his job he did not enjoy the high profile nature of it.

'Gary always said he was not a celebrity.'

Final hours: Gary Speed appears on the BBC's Football Focus next to Gary McAllister on November 26, broadcast from it's studios in Salford, hours before he was discovered dead

Final hours: Gary Speed appears on the BBC's Football Focus with Gary McAllister on November 26, broadcast from its studios in Salford, hours before he was discovered dead

She said her son's death left herself and her husband in 'complete shock'.

'Looking back, Gary was always a glass-half-empty person, certainly no optimist,' her statement added.

Dan Walker, the presenter of Football
Focus, spent four hours on and off camera with Speed the day before he
died and he said he was left stunned by the tragedy.

Speaking
in the days after the death, he said Speed had been 'as bubbly as I
have known him…It's awful to think that someone who was so gifted and
so well liked with the rest of his life to look forward to has been so
cruelly removed.'

Tributes
to Speed poured in from around the world after news of his death
spread. A public memorial service to celebrate his life is planned to
take place later this year.

The Football Association of Wales has also said that the national team’s game against Costa Rica on
February 29 will be dedicated to their former manager.

Distinguished professional: Gary Speed celebrates scoring for Bolton with a free kick against Liverpool in 2006

Gary Speed challenges for a header against Arsenal in the late 1990s

Distinguished professional: Gary Speed celebrates scoring for Bolton with a free kick against Liverpool in 2006 and, right, he challenges for a header against Arsenal in the late 1990s

The FAW appointed Chris Coleman as the
new manager of Wales earlier this month after what they admitted had
been 'a very difficult period' following Speed's death.

Speed
played for Leeds United, Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers, Sheffield
United and Everton during a distinguished football career.

He
was named Wales manager in December 2010 in a surprise announcement.

Under his guidance the national team had turned the corner and had been
playing some of their best football for years.

SPEED FAMILY STATEMENT ISSUED THROUGH THE LEAGUE MANAGERS ASSOCIATION

'Gary’s death and the manner of it, made Sunday 27th November 2011 the worst day of our lives. Throughout the nine weeks since, there have been some very dark moments, which we have all had to find our own different ways to endure.

'Now, we have to adapt to the future without a husband, a father, a brother and a son; but Gary’s memory shines brightly in our thoughts and we will forever remember the wonderful times we shared with him and the deep love and affection he offered so freely within our close knit family.

'Thankfully, out of tragedy some good often emerges, and we feel blessed to have such true friends who are helping each of us come to terms with the circumstances of our bereavement.

'Gary’s funeral was an occasion of great sadness and grief for everyone concerned but it was also a day where we were able to say farewell to him in our own personal and private way.

'At this time we wish to reiterate our deep appreciation for the very generous and clearly sincere accolades paid to Gary and his memory by the public and all forms of the media.

'We remain especially grateful for the sympathetic way that the media has respected the family’s privacy.

'The help and encouragement we have received from so many special individuals and organisations leading up to today’s inquest has been truly breathtaking and we must recognise publicly some of those concerned.

'The thoughtful way we have been treated by the Cheshire constabulary, which has been represented here today by Detective Inspector Peter Lawless.

'The considerate way today’s hearing has been conducted by HM Coroner Mr Nicholas Rheinburg. The practical help given in abundance by Melissa Chappell, whose support and friendship has been so much more to us than simply Gary’s professional agent.

'The invaluable life-line provided by the League Managers Association which has been there for us throughout. We are immensely thankful to all of you and greatly appreciate what you have done for us.

'Finally, our thanks go to the FA of Wales which has arranged the Gary Speed Memorial Match against Costa Rica at the Cardiff City Stadium on Wednesday 29th February. '

This will give everyone whose lives were touched and enriched by Gary’s achievements the opportunity to attend, celebrate his life and pay their final respects. We look forward to seeing you there.'

Wales manager: Gary Speed, right, on the touchline alongside England boss Fabio Capello in September as the Welsh lost 1-0 to England in a European Championship qualifying match

Wales manager: Gary Speed, right, on the touchline alongside England boss Fabio Capello in September as the Welsh lost 1-0 to England in a European Championship qualifying match

Tributes: Leeds United supporters leave tributes to Gary Speed outside their Elland Road ground. Speed played for Leeds during a distinguished career

Tributes: Leeds United supporters leave tributes to Gary Speed outside their Elland Road ground. Speed played for Leeds during a distinguished career

Graham Westley sends bizarre late night text to his Preston North End players

Westley starts off on the back foot at Preston after bizarre late night text

Preston players are fuming after four stars were axed in a rambling late night text by new boss Graham Westley.

North End's new chief sent the line-up for Saturday's 2-0 home defeat by Leyton Orient in a group text to his players at 2am.

He started the message by apologising for delivering the news so late, claiming it had taken him a long time to add all the players numbers to his phone's address book.

Late night message: Westley shocked and angered some of his players

Late night message: Westley shocked and angered some of his players

And after reading on, experienced stars David Gray and Barry Nicholson as well as kids Adam Barton and Harry Bunn discovered they had all been dropped despite featuring in a 3-2 victory over Wycombe a week earlier.

A source close to the players said: 'It is unbelievable that the manager thought it was a good idea to deliver bad news like this in a text that arrived in the middle of the night.

'The fact it was just one of several texts made it even worse. You would have thought the manager would have wanted his players to get a good night's sleep in before a game.'

Football League blog

Westley's texts for his first game in charge also detailed the tactics for the Orient match and added some motivational talk.

One of the messages was over 150 words long and another offered up the info his door is always open for a chat. Several players may be taking him up on that offer this week.

Westley has managed to talk midfielder Paul Coutts out of putting in a transfer request. However, the 23-year-old remains unhappy and is eager to leave the club.