Vinnie Jones and his wife Tanya both battled skin cancer at the same time before her death at the age of 53.
The British actor and former footballer was by his wife’s side when she passed away at their home in Los Angeles on Saturday, The Sun reports.
Vinnie, 54, had previously spoken about how they had both been diagnosed with melanoma — the most serious skin cancer — in 2013.
Tanya — who had an emergency heart transplant at the age of 21 — had already been treated twice for cervical cancer.
Vinnie had found a lump under his eye, and a check-up revealed it was malignant melanoma.
Then Tanya, mother to Kaley and Aaron, developed the same illness, and they fought it together as a couple.
A source said last night: “Tanya had been ill for quite a while.
“But the last two or three weeks her condition really deteriorated.
“Vinnie has been by her bedside. It’s heartbreaking news.
A heartbreaking photo shows Vinnie Jones walking hand-in-hand with his wife Tanya before her tragic death.
The couple were spotted leaving a pharmacy in Los Angeles together last year as Tanya fought her six-year long battle against her illness.
Tributes from celebrities and former footballers have flooded in, with fellow footballer Gary Lineker among those paying his respects.
He wrote on Twitter: “How terribly sad. Condolences to Vinnie Jones and family.”
British boxing legend Frank Bruno posted: “I’m very saddened to hear the news of Vinnie Jones wife Tanaya passing away. My thoughts are with Vinnie & his family at this difficult time.”
Businessman and UK Apprentice star Lord Sugar wrote: “Sorry for your loss Vinny.”
Piers Morgan wrote: “Such desperately sad news that Tanya Jones has lost her long battle against cancer, aged just 53.
‘She was a delightful woman, and a truly courageous fighter.
“My deepest condolences to Vinnie @VinnieJones65 & all the family. RIP Tanya.”
Hollywood action star Vinnie’s spokesman told The Sun: “At 8.46am local time in Los Angeles on Saturday July 6, Vinnie Jones’ wife, Tanya Jones, passed away after a long illness.
“Tanya passed peacefully at the Jones family home surrounded by Vinnie, their daughter and other family members.
“Vinnie and the family ask for privacy while they go through an understandable period of mourning during this devastating time.”
LOS ANGELES LIFE
Vinnie and Tanya moved to Los Angeles where he pursued a successful acting career.
In 1998, he made his film debut in Guy Ritchie’s crime comedy Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels — in which he played a mob enforcer.
Vinnie also appeared in Mean Machine in 2001 and, in 2006, acted in X-Men: The Last Stand.
He went on to co-star alongside Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the action thriller Escape Plan, which was released in 2013.
Previously, he earned a reputation as a hardman in his footballing career and was a member of the “Crazy Gang” at Wimbledon.
He won the 1988 FA Cup Final with the club, which he played well over 200 games for.
The footie ace also had spells at Chelsea, Leeds United, Sheffield United and Queen’s Park Rangers.