Paul Jewell in ‘complete shock’ over Gary Speed death

PAUL Jewell has revealed he spoke to Gary Speed just a week before the tragic death of the Welsh boss.

The 42-year-old was found dead at his home in Chester on Sunday morning.

Clearly shocked by the news, Jewell this morning paid an an emotional tribute to the former Leeds United, Newcastle and Everton midfielder.

Jewell said: “I did all my coaching badges with Speedo. When someone passes away, everyone says nice things but genuinely, and I have been in the game since I left school, I don’t think I have heard anyone say a bad word about Gary Speed – and vice-versa, I have never seen him say a bad word about anybody.

“When news like that happens, it makes you realise life is to be lived and enjoyed. We have lost five football matches. Someone asked me after the game (against Reading), was that heartbreaking? And I said yes. But now I think about it, it’s not heartbreaking. It’s disappointing, but heartbreaking is when something like what has happened to Gary Speed happens.

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“It can be a nasty, jealous game at times, people can be quite happy when others aren’t doing well. But with Speedy, he was always positive. He was a terrific guy and I am just in shock.

“My thoughts go out to his wife and children and his family. We’re footballers, football managers, but we are also people. We (Ipswich) are having a tough time at the moment, but nothing compared to what his family are going through. This puts it into perspective.”

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Jewell said Speed’s death put things in perspective after his side’s barren run that has seen them lost five consecutive Championship matches.

The Town boss explained: “When I found out yesterday after training, we were all feeling a bit sorry for ourselves after a bad run. Then you hear the tragic news about what has happened and I can’t take it in to be honest. “

Speaking ahead of tomorrow night’s trip to Burnley: “I have only got to know Gary for the last six or seven years through our coaching badges. I only spoke to him on the phone last week when he recommended a couple of players to me and asked me about the Welsh connections of some of our young lads.

“He was telling me how much he loved his job. I just feel for his family. He was a guy who on the outside looked like he had everything, but obviously something was wrong.

“I’m pretty low at the minute but once we get on the bus and go to Burnley, I have to pick myself – and the players – up.”

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