Gary Speed leaves a huge hole in football
I have no idea where to start this blog, what to say in the middle and how to finish it. This will probably be a stream of consciousness.
I spent four hours with Gary Speed on Saturday. He was our guest on Football Focus and was in great form. I've met and interviewed him on many occasions. I always found him to be kind, funny, intelligent and insightful.
On Saturday he was cracking jokes with Gary McAllister, his midfield partner from the title-winning Leeds side of 1991-92.
Off-air we talked about playing golf, how good his boys were at football and his dreams of taking Wales to the World Cup in 2014.
He was always interested in what you were up to. He would say: "How are you finding Sheffield, Dan? Are you and the kids settling in OK?" That was part of his charm - he cared.
One of the production team went to the same school as Gary in North Wales and they were talking about the day the Queen turned up. A picture, taken of Gary with fellow alumni Michael Owen and Her Majesty, is still proudly shown in reception.
Gary was genuinely loved in the game. In the last few hours you will have heard more qualified accounts and memories from fellow managers, players, friends and fans talking of how much he meant to them and what he did for their club. There have been tributes and flowers left across the country and tears shed throughout the football family.
After Focus we recorded a 10-minute piece with Gary talking about Wales qualifying campaign for the next World Cup. He spoke with passion about the fixtures and desire to see success. His hope was that the upturn in form would see his team playing in front of full stadia again. He joked about Team GB and how Scotland would be an easy game, McAllister giggled.
Those words and hopes for the future seem so poignant now. There was certainly no hint of any troubles or any indication of what was going to happen a few hours later.
"I'm just popping upstairs to see Al [Shearer], Dan. I'll see you up there in a mo," he said after the show.
I joined Gary in the Match of the Day production office a few minutes later where he was chatting with Shearer, Mark Lawrenson and McAllister.
They were having a laugh and watching the Stoke v Blackburn game. Alan and Gary were organising when they were going to see each other next before Shearer left to go to watch Manchester United v Newcastle at Old Trafford. They all ribbed Alan for his comedy hat that later featured on MOTD.
I was going home to Sheffield so I said my goodbyes. Gary gave me a warm handshake and said "thanks for today Dan".
"We might even have you on again soon," I joked.
When I got the news on Sunday morning I was stunned. I still can't get my head around it.
This is not the time to go into the reasons behind it all. I know people are talking about depression and other issues but we will have to wait to know the whole - probably very sad - truth.
This is the time to say that all our thoughts and prayers are with his family. This is the time to say I found him to be a top bloke and really enjoyed his company.
He leaves a huge hole in football. He seemed to have everything in front of him - two boys he loved, physical fitness and, at just 42, a promising future as manager of Wales. But Gary Speed is gone and I miss him.