Gary Speed’s widow is now happy with a millionaire property-developer who has helped her to cope with being alone after the death of their star.
Louise opened up in an interview at the weekend to mark the tenth anniversary since the death of the former Wales football manager and announced she had found love after years of unhappiness.
Now it can be confirmed that Quinton Bird (52), a businessman and father of three, was the one who saved her heartbreak.
As the sole directors of Bow Property Development, a successful Chester new-build and renovation business, she and Mr Bird were business partners for six years.
The couple has shared their love on the Facebook page of Mr Bird, which includes photos of the happy couple. A couple in summer holidays, Quinton and Louise are shown here, with Quinton dressed up in hiking gear. The caption is ‘Lakes with Lou!
Louise, mother-of-two, told the Daily Mail her grief at the loss of Gary her childhood sweetheart – who committed suicide in 2011 – and that she was left with many questions. She also suffered from two years of difficulty getting off the couch in the aftermath.
Louise Speed (the widow of Premier League football superstar Gary Speed) is happily married to Quinton Bird (52) a businessman and father-of-3. Photographed together
Louise (pictured), spoke out candidly about the feelings of loneliness that she experienced when Gary committed suicide ten years back. She said she drank a bottle of wine most nights for two years to numb the pain
Louise and Gary met as childhood friends when Gary was 13. They got married at 13 and had two children together. Gary went on to become a successful football manager in Wales and had a stellar career.
“It was like I was in the worst nightmare.” She said. No one could give her any answers. Gary was nowhere to be found. There was no way to get it right the second time around.
“I was just functioning, trudging through the day. If there was anyone I could be apart from myself, it would have been me. We are now 10 years later. It’s a cliché but time is a healer even if it takes years. Life can be wonderful again.
While she shared her new relationship with her husband, she also said that she didn’t feel the same after it. “I’ve become more wise.” I feel more confident than ever before.
Speed, pictured with Wales playing for Wales, was the manager of his country at the time he lost his life.
‘But I tend to wear a body of armour around me the whole time, if I am honest — so that I cannot be hurt again. We all go through different stages in our lives and I find that it is okay to deal with these things. There is nothing that scares or frightens me.
“I am not certain if this body of armour is still in use or if it was deliberately placed on. It is now, and not 10 years ago.
“I only want to be safe from my own life. It’s not something I want to experience or see again. That makes sense.
In addition, she shared that Gary’s letter to her from Leeds was found in a box of belongings. He admits that he had thoughts of suicide in the letter. He was 17.
She says that the letter wasn’t sent. “That was the first time I heard about it. However, I concluded that Gary was unwell enough to have done what Gary did. He could not talk and didn’t want to communicate. Through League Managers Association, he had every opportunity.
“If any football player had ever come to him with problems, he’d have sent them on the right path. However, he did not do it for himself. All I can assume or say is that he did not want or could not talk about it.
Louise now shares how she found happiness once again with billionaire businessman, Mr Bird. Both are directors in a property business they manage.
Gary and Louise’s two sons Eddie and Tommy were just 14 and 13 when they lost their father. Both of their sons are currently studying at New York University and excel in football.
Tommy said that although it wasn’t easy, they’re making good progress. “It’s been tough to get on with my life, but I need to.
“I’m proud to be a Dad. He always has me watching videos of his matches and goals. Without my mum, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
Gary and Louise met as teenagers in Flintshire (North Wales). Their first date took place at a tennis court when Gary lost his racket.
For 20 years, her life was dominated by Gary’s career in football, first in Leeds where he won the old Divison One trophy under Howard Wilkinson and they got married.
She followed Speed back to North West Everton, then Newcastle. Speed later played football for Bolton, and then Sheffield United. He was appointed manager at Sheffield United in 2010.
When, with only four months’ managerial experience he was appointed Wales manager in early 2011, Louise said she was ‘excited’ as it was not as demanding as club football and the couple could plan more, but within a few months, Gary would be dead.
According to the inquest, the two had an argument the night before his death.
Louise stated that she was going for a drive following some words after returning from dinner. But she couldn’t go back in the house.
Early the next morning, she found her husband’s body in the garage.
Louise and gary shared two boys, Eddie (left) & Tommy (right). They were both good football players growing up and now live in New York.
Four days earlier Speed, 42, sent his wife a text talking ‘in terms of taking his life’, but she said he had dismissed it because of their children.
She said the text conversation referred to their ‘ups and downs’ but also mentioned ‘how important the boys were’ and about ‘moving forward’.
Inquest coroner said that he couldn’t be sure that the man intended to commit suicide.
Alan Shearer (ex-england captain) was his friend and was there the day before he died. He said that he knew of the issues between them.
Shearer’s family was on vacation with Speeds. Shearer said that Speeds told her such things were common in long-term relationships.
Shearer saw Speed last Saturday at noon, the day before his death. Speed was appearing on BBC’s Football Focus program.
Speed was fine, he said. He laughed and joked.
Speed’s friend hosted a dinner party the night prior to his death. Speed was happy and in good spirits.
Speed, as well other men, had been pushing him in the pool in his clothing, trying to make everyone have fun. Also, he had been discussing the idea of taking a Dubai Christmas vacation.
Louise admitted that her last years were difficult. Interview with Mail: She asked Gary if she could forgive her. You don’t know. We’ve suffered so much pain, but it’s what I really want.
Gary and Louise smile for the camera as they appeared at his former teammate Shay Given’s Fashion Kicks event held at Lancashire County Cricket Club in Manchester
Robert Bateman, the taxi driver who took the Speeds home, said everything had seemed normal and they were ‘as normal as they always are’.
Speed’s blood alcohol level was just below the UK limit of 80 mg, according to Speed’s inquest.
According to the inquest, investigators thought Speed had been in his garage. He was found in his garage wet from having taken an earlier dip into the pool.
According to the coroner, he was unsure of what was happening in his head. However, he did know that his wife was nearby and that he was expecting to find her.
Recording a narrative verdict, Mr Rheinberg said: ‘It seems likely that Mr Speed was sitting for some time with a ligature around his neck.
‘It may have been that this was some sort of dramatic gesture, not normally in Mr Speed’s character, but nonetheless, a possibility.’