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Shocked Shearer still 'numb' over death of Speed

ALAN SHEARER has admitted he is still "numb and shocked" over the death of his close friend and former Newcastle team-mate Gary Speed.

An emotional Shearer described his final meeting with the Wales manager at the BBC's Salford studios on Saturday.

Speed's body was found at his family home in Huntington, Chester, on Sunday morning.

Sources confirmed Speed was found hanged.

Shearer said: "We were arranging next weekend. He was coming up to stay at my house with his wife and we were going up to various charity dinners on Friday and Saturday.

"We left the studio at half past two and I walked over to Old Trafford to go and watch Newcastle. I shook his hand and said, 'see you next weekend' -- and, unfortunately, I won't.

"It's incredible. I'm still numb and still shocked, like everyone else. You read things in the newspaper and it doesn't happen to one of your best mates. I'm just so sad and shocked and feel for (Speed's wife) Louise, his two boys and mum and dad."

Shearer said one of the hardest things to come to terms with is reconciling the circumstances of Speed's death with his attitude and general demeanour on Saturday.

Shearer added: "I was with him and he was happy and joking and we were having a normal mickey-take, like we do out of each other, and having a laugh and a joke about our golf trips and holidays that we went on together last year, and planning our next holiday in Portugal next summer with our families and kids."

Shearer's friendship with Speed grew soon after the Welshman was signed by Kenny Dalglish at Newcastle, with Shearer describing his team-mate as "a great footballer and a model pro".

Shearer added: "You're bound to have arguments along the way in football, but no one ever did with Gary -- no one had a bad word for him.


"He was an incredible guy who you could rely and depend on. Everyone loved him ... he was loved because that's the type of guy that he was -- he got on with everyone and everyone respected him."

Speed's family have asked for privacy to grieve after being overwhelmed by messages of support following his death.

Speed's agent Hayden Evans -- who was also the best man at Speed's wedding -- said yesterday: "Gary's family would sincerely like to thank all the people that have sent messages of condolence and tributes in what is a very difficult time.

"We have been overwhelmed by the support and it really has helped.

"We would ask that the family are now given the respect of some privacy to just grieve on their own."