A WIMBLEDON legend has been left devastated after her husbands died just weeks after his shock cancer diagnosis.
Annabel Croft, 56, said that her husband Mel Coleman, 60, died earlier this week after he was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer.
Annabel Croft’s husband Mel Coleman died after a shock cancer diagnosis[/caption]
She said: “My beloved husband Mel passed away peacefully on Wednesday morning after a short battle with cancer.
“My family and I are completely heartbroken and ask for privacy at this very sad time.”
Mel had complained of stomach pains in the weeks before the devastating diagnosis.
Tennis star Annabel married America’s Cup yachtsman Mel in 1992 after they met by chance just before she hung up her racket as a professional player.
Earlier this year, Annabel told the Mail: “I got a text from my mother saying the BBC production office in Belfast were asking whether I’d be interested in filming a programme about yacht racing.
“I’d never been on a yacht before, but it ended up with me, Eamonn Holmes and Peter Skellern going off to Guernsey to shoot a programme where we learnt how to race a yacht.
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“Mel, who had just got back from Australia after the America’s Cup, was one of the yachtsmen and that is how we met.”
The couple have three grown-up children named Charlie, Amber and Lily.
Mel was Annabel’s first proper boyfriend and married her six years after they met when she was 21.
They later ran a tennis school together, with Mel noted for his healthy appearance.
Annabel and Mel also converted an old delivery van into a mobile home which they drove across Europe on walking holidays as part of their active outdoors lifestyle.
The former Wimbledon player and TV presenter, 56, started the renovation project during the third lockdown in the UK.
She told Sun Online Travel: “I never knew you could do what we did until my husband Mel asked me about fixing up a van when the whole world had shut down.”
The couple spent just three months transforming the van – which they named Vannabel – into the perfect holiday home on wheels.