Gary Speed‘s wife, Louise, just lost her second husband after he fought brain cancer for two years.
Louise fell in love with Quinton Bird, who was 53 at the time. In December 2021, 10 years after Gary’s death, she married Quinton.
Mother-of-two Louise and Mr. Bird had worked together for six years and were both directors of the successful Chester company Bow Property Development, which built new homes and fixed up old ones. Before Christmas 2021, they got married in a beautiful ceremony at Peckforton Castle in Cheshire. Gary’s close friend and former teammate Alan Shearer was there, as he had been at Newcastle and for England.
Sad to say, Bird died last year from an aggressive type of brain tumor, which he had been fighting for two years. In a touching tribute, his father, Roy, said that he was “devastated” to lose his son at such a young age and that he couldn’t find the words. He also said that Quinton was a “wonderful” father and that the whole family had “a lot of wonderful and beautiful memories” of him.
Mr. Bird, a father of three, helped Louise deal with her loneliness after Gary’s suicide, which happened in November 2011 when he was 42 years old. In the 1980s, Speed and Louise went on their first date when they were both 15 years old.
In November 2021, she talked about how his death had made her feel. In a brave interview, she said, “It was like being in the worst nightmare ever.” “There were no answers, and Gary didn’t come back through the door. Nothing would ever be okay again. I was just going through the motions of life. I would have been happy to be someone else for a long time if I could have been someone else instead of myself.
“But it’s been ten years. Time heals, even if it takes years. This is a cliche. I’ve learned that life can be good and great once more. “I don’t think you can be the same person after something like this. I have learned more. I probably feel more sure of myself than I did before.
“But, if I’m being honest, I tend to wear a body of armor around me all the time, so I can’t get hurt again. I’m not sure if that body of armor has grown over time or if I put it on myself at some point. I only know that it’s there now, but it wasn’t there ten years ago.
“I just want to keep life from hurting me. I never want to feel or experience anything like that again. I hope that’s clear.”
Speed had depression for most of his adult life. When he was 17, he wrote a letter about wanting to kill himself, but he never sent it.
“That was the first time I heard about it,” Louise said. “But I think the only way Gary could have done what he did is if his mind was sick. He wasn’t able to talk and didn’t want to. People like the League Managers Association gave him all the chances he could want.”
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