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"Forget the football, Gary was a great guy, different class," said Coleman.
"I was lucky enough to have known him for a long time. He's greatly missed - I still miss him. I will always miss him.
"I can't believe it's a year ago. You don't ever forget something like that. I will probably never get over it. You try to deal with it as time goes on.
"But you don't forget someone like Gary. We never will.
Coleman, who had the unenviable task of taking over as Wales manager a year ago, has only won once since taking over, and has admitted it has been hard for the players to come to terms with Gary's death.
'I think people forget about the players. People just think they have to go out and get results. Of course, Gary's death was bound to have affected them.
'Players hold a lot of their emotions in. The dressing room is not the place where you show emotion.
'You hide everything. They will have dealt with it in their own time and space. It's been very hard for them and the players have handled it really well.
Gary's son Ed, 14, recently received his first call up to the Wales U 16s as they played N. Ireland, and though he was an unused substitute, he has already received praise for being like his father not only in appearance but playing style too.
There is no doubt that Gary could have done great things, not only as a manager, but for Welsh football which, after losing one of its greatest players and ambassadors, will never be the same.