Ex-Wimbledon star Annabel Croft’s death throes as her husband dies just weeks after shocking cancer diagnosis
A WIMBLEDON legend was devastated after her husband died just weeks after his shock cancer diagnosis.
Annabel Croft, 56, said her husband Mel Coleman, 60, died earlier this week after being diagnosed with stage three cancer.
She said: “My beloved husband Mel passed away peacefully on Wednesday morning after a brief battle with cancer.
“My family and I are completely heartbroken and request privacy at this very sad time.”
Mel had complained of stomach pains in the weeks leading up to the devastating diagnosis.
Tennis star Annabel married America’s Cup sailor Mel in 1992 after they met by chance just before she gave up her tennis racquet as a pro.
Earlier this year, Annabel told that post: “I got a text message from my mother saying that the BBC production office in Belfast had asked if I would be interested in making a program about yacht racing.”
“I’ve never been on a yacht, but I ended up going to Guernsey with Eamonn Holmes and Peter Skellern to do a show where we learned how to race a yacht.”
“Mel, who had just returned from Australia after the America’s Cup, was one of the sailors and that’s how we met.”
The couple have three grown children named Charlie, Amber and Lily.
Mel was Annabel’s first real boyfriend and married her six years after they met when she was 21.
They later ran a tennis school together, with Mel being known for his healthy looks.
Annabel and Mel also converted an old van into a camper van which they used to travel across Europe on walking holidays as part of their active outdoor lifestyle.
The former Wimbledon player and TV presenter, 56, launched the renovation project during the UK’s third lockdown.
She told Sun Online Travel: “I never thought you could do what we did until my husband Mel asked me if I could fix a van when the whole world was down.”
The couple spent just three months transforming the van – which they dubbed Vannabel – into the perfect vacation home on wheels.