A tearful Vinnie Jones has recounted the final moments with his wife, who strove not to ‘ruin Christmas’ as she battled cancer.
Jones’ wife, Tanya, passed away in July this year at the age of 53, after bravely fighting against three forms of cancer.
The former footballer and Hollywood actor appeared on Good Morning Britain, in his first live interview since Tanya’s passing.
The 54-year-old spoke of Tanya going on steroids to make sure she didn’t ‘ruin Christmas’ last year for her family – after receiving bad news on Christmas eve, she ‘got through it brilliantly’.
They called Christmas Eve and said we’ve found a couple of spots on the brain. That’s the first time we broke down together. We were in the house but had a lot of guests there.
She didn’t want to ruin their Christmas. That was the worst time we ever broke down together.
She wanted to get through Christmas so they put her on steroids. It really puffed her out. She was unrecognisable, because she was a fantastically gorgeous woman.
Vinnie recounted how Tanya went on steroids to get through the holiday. ‘I don’t think if she knew but she kept getting us all together. She was in and out of pain but got through it brilliantly,’ he explained.
However, although they started booking for their holidays this year, ‘I think she knew she wasn’t going to make this Christmas,’ he said.
Tanya was treated at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles and Harefield Hospital in London – Jones has offered them unbridled praise, saying he’ll never be able to repay them.
As her condition grew much worse, Tanya lived out her final days in the couple’s Hollywood home.
Talking about when he learned Tanya was terminally ill, Jones said:
As much as I was a bugger she felt safe with me. Until that final meeting in that room. I said: ‘One thing is important… she’s not going in no hospice. Kaley and I will look after her.’
I didn’t want her frightened. I said I didn’t want her to know and I didn’t want her to be in any pain.
After Tanya’s passing, Vinnie talked about how it’s hard to keep watching everyone’s lives move on as he struggled with tragedy.
Keeping busy. I think that’s the first thing. I think you’ve got to get out there for other guys who are struggling. We’ve had some unbelievable emails and messages. It makes a difference. I didn’t see that coming.
The hardest part of it all for me to adjust to, even that day, everyone’s life goes on. You’re looking around. This is the biggest tragedy of your life. And people are still going to work and queuing up for Starbucks. The enormity of it all is hard.
Vinnie took a moment to address the Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney spat – saying that Tanya was the ‘opposite’ of the footballers’ wives.
The thing with Tans is, you look at the papers now with the two footballers’ wives. Tanya got offered hundreds and hundreds to do modelling and stories.
She did none of that. She’s the opposite to the girls now. I think it’s quite funny. But what about the embarrassment to the husbands? What about the kids?
Also, as a tribute to his late wife, Jones will be appearing on X Factor: Celebrity in the coming weeks. ‘Even the talk of the X Factor stuff. She loves the X Factor and it was her dream. Whether I do it or not, it was her dream,’ he said.
You can watch Vinnie’s Good Morning interview on ITV Hub.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He’s now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.