Alan Shearer still numb and in shock over Gary Speed's death
Alan Shearer says he is still numb and in shock over the sudden death of his friend and former Newcastle United team-mate Gary Speed.
In an emotional interview on BBC Radio 5 live Shearer said: "This just doesn't happen to one of your best mates.
"I was with him on Saturday afternoon arranging next weekend. He was coming up with his wife to stay at my house.
"I left the studio, shook his hand and said 'see you next weekend'. Unfortunately I won't."
Cheshire Police found Speed dead at 0708 GMT on Sunday at his home in Huntington. He was 42.
"[On Saturday] he was happy, joking," Shearer said. "We were having the normal mickey taking that we do out of each other and having a laugh and joke about golf trips and holidays that we went on together last year.
"We were planning our next holiday in Portugal next summer with the families and the kids. That's why it's so hard to come to terms with - really, really difficult."
Shearer had been at St. James' Park for 18 months when Welsh international Speed signed for Newcastle in February 1998.
Speed played more than 280 matches for the club, including two FA Cup Final appearances, before leaving for Bolton Wanderers in July 2004.
Shearer continued: "I played against him many times, but when Kenny Dalglish signed him for Newcastle straight away we struck up a relationship.
"You're bound to make enemies and have arguments along the way in football - but no one ever did with Gary.
"No-one had a bad word for him. He was just an incredible guy, what you would describe as a proper bloke.
"If you were meeting him at seven o'clock, he'd be there at five to seven, and that's the type of guy he was."
Speed burst on to the scene as a dynamic and versatile midfielder at Leeds United, and by the age of 22 he had won the league championship playing a pivotal role in a United midfield that also contained Gordon Strachan, Gary McAllister and David Batty.
Shearer spoke about the player who was a "manager's dream", adding: "He was a great footballer, great in the air, he had a great left foot, a great engine, he was a model professional.
"To play with him, I knew, when I was at Newcastle, what sort of performance you would get from him and the 52,000 fans knew what kind of performance you were going to get - he'd run all day.
"Everyone loved him - that's the type of guy that he was.
"He got on with the young guys, the older guys, the laundry lady, the chefs, the kit man - we used to get in early after taking our kids to school and we were in the training ground at 8.45 having breakfast together.
"It's such a sad situation, a sad loss."