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Vinnie Jones speaks about passing of wife Tanya and says thank-you to his fans

Strong: Vinnie Jones and wife Tanya
Strong: Vinnie Jones and wife Tanya

By Julia Hunt

Vinnie Jones has spoken about the death of his wife for the first time, thanking his fans for helping him with his "heavy grief".

The actor's wife Tanya died in July after a long illness, with Vinnie at her side. The former footballer (54) posted a picture of the couple on Twitter yesterday.

He told his followers: "Thank you to each and every one of you for your kind thoughts and kind words through this devastating time you have all helped us enormously with this heavy grief, Vinnie."

Vinnie and Tanya (53) married in 1994.

Tanya had a daughter, Kaley, by her former husband, and a son, Aaron, with Vinnie.

Tanya underwent an emergency heart transplant at the age of 21 following the birth of Kaley and is also reported to have suffered from cervical cancer. In 2013, the actor told how the couple had both been diagnosed with skin cancer.

Tanya died on July 6.

Vinnie had found a lump under his eye, and a check-up revealed it was a malignant melanoma, but then Tanya developed the same illness.

After marrying in Watford in 1994, the pair moved to Los Angeles when Vinnie decided to pursue a career in acting.

The couple were known to have a strong marriage and Vinnie credited Tanya for 'saving' him.

In his football career, Vinnie played for clubs including Wimbledon, Leeds United, Sheffield United and Chelsea.

He played international football for Wales.

Just weeks after his wife's death, he returned to work on the celebrity version of The X Factor in Hollywood.

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