Belfast Telegraph

Waterloo Road actress Holly Matthews pays tribute to late husband

Holly Matthews is doing her best to take things "one step at a time" following the death of her husband Ross Blair.

Waterloo Road actress Holly Matthews has paid tribute to her husband after he died aged 32 following a battle with a brain tumour.

The 32-year-old actress confirmed the passing of spouse Ross Blair on Tuesday (01Aug17) in a heartbreaking statement remembering the father of her two children Brooke, six, and Texas, four.

Ross, who had been fighting a grade-4 primitive neuroectodermal tumour (PNET) since 2014, died in Myton Hospice in Coventry, England, on Saturday.

"Just as the final whistle was blowing for the end of Saturday football, my incredible husband took his last breath," Holly said. "He was surrounded by me, his mum (Dionne Blair), dad (Andy Blair) and sister (Ashley Blair), peacefully and with the support of the incredible Myton Hospice staff.

"The loss we are feeling is unfathomable right now and breaking the news to my daughters was extremely tough, but we are supporting each other and taking it one step at a time."

The property developer was given a 50/50 chance of survival when he was first diagnosed and, after responding well to initial treatment, the tumour remained stable for two years. But following a family holiday in May, Ross had a seizure and his health went on a downward spiral from that point.

"He loved those girls so much and he was the best dad, he chose to be around them, he adored them," she said.

“I have lost my best friend. I have talked to the girls about energy and how energy never dies, that the people we love live on in our hearts and our memories and they no longer walk beside us but they are within us, part of us. The coming months will be tough but we will ride the waves and do what we need to."

A funeral will be held for Ross at Nuneaton Crematorium, in Nuneaton, on 9 August.

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