Gary Speed sent a text to his wife days before he died in which he "talked in terms of taking his life", his widow told an inquest into the former Wales Manager's death.
Louise Speed also revealed that there was "some degree of stress" on their relationship.
Speed, who played for Sheffield United, Everton, Newcastle, Leeds and Bolton, was discovered hanged at his home near Chester last November,
The text was revealed at an inquest at Warrington Coroner's Court into the death of the 42-year-old father of two.
After hearing evidence from Sheffield United's medical officer, Dr Mark Ridgewell, in which he said Speed had “no history of depression,” Speed's widow took to the stand.
She said that her husband was a “deep man" who “didn’t relish the limelight”, adding that Speed was fine after he returned from an appearance on Football Focus the day before his death.
They then had “an exchange” in the early hours after they had been to a dinner party at a friend's house, she said.
Mrs Speed said she had driven off in her car around 1.15am.
It was the last time she saw her husband alive, she told the coroner.
She returned shortly after but the house was locked. According to the witness, she fell asleep, waking up at 6am, after which she went around the side of the house.
Giving evidence through tears, the widow told how she discovered her husband’s body in the garage.
She tried to resuscitate him, she told the coroner.
The court heard that Speed had not left a suicide note.
Speed's widow ended her testimony by revealing that her husband had talked of taking his life, but she "dismissed it", saying that he was "excited" about the future with his wife and two sons.
Mrs Speed said the text referred to their "ups and downs" but went on about "how important the boys were" and about "moving forward".
Police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the former footballer's death.
Following news of his death, tributes poured in from around the world for Speed.
A public memorial service to celebrate his life is planned for later this year.
The Football Association of Wales (FAW) has also said that the national team's game against Costa Rica on February 29 will be dedicated to their former manager.
The FAW appointed Chris Coleman as the new manager of Wales earlier this month after what they admitted had been "a very difficult period" following the death.
In a narrative verdict, Cheshire coroner Nicholas Rheinberg gave the cause of death as hanging but said "the evidence does not sufficiently determine whether this was intentional or accidental".