Annabel Croft discusses how she met her husband in 2022
Strictly’s Annabel Croft was left devastated when her husband of 30 years, Mel Coleman, died from cancer in May.
Annabel, who was once Britain’s number one female tennis player, is set to hit the BBC One ballroom show which she has said she signed up to help distract her from her grief.
While much is known about the tennis ace, who became a professional player in 1984 and was ranked world number 24 before she surprisingly quit the sport just two years later at just 21, her late husband stayed largely out of the spotlight.
But he was a force for the sporting legend behind the scenes and Annabel admits she has cried every day since his death.
Read more… Strictly’s Annabel Croft opens up on ‘terrible’ time after husband’s death
“It’s been a terrible, terrible time,” she recently admitted to The Mail On Sunday. “There’s not been a day I haven’t cried.”
Annabel, who will be officially introduced as one of Strictly’s new contestants when the show kicks off on Saturday also told the publication about her husband’s fondness for the show. She added: “He always loved the show and used to cry watching it, so I’m completely heartbroken that he’s not here to watch with me.”
Mel, who was 60 when he passed away in May of this year, was a professional yachtsman and investment banker who wed Annabel in 1993.
Mel, who met Annabel in 1988 when she was filming a show about yacht racing in Guernsey, had a passion for sailing and competed in many top events such as America’s Cup and the Admiral’s Cup.
His successful day job as an investment banker, which saw him have an estimated net worth of £13m, saw him work for firms such as Morgan Stanley.
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He also shared Annabel’s passion for tennis and the pair ran a tennis school together at the National Tennis Centre.
He also became the managing partner of Annabel Croft holidays, which provides luxury travel to the Caribbean and Europe.
Annabel, 57, shared children Amber Rose, 29, Lily, 26, and Charlie, 24, with Mel and credits him for why she got into being a tennis analyst and commentator for BBC, Eurosport and Sky Sports.
The pair remained inseparable during their three decades-long marriage and during Covid lockdowns they converted an old delivery van into a mobile home which they drove around Europe when restrictions were lifted.
Mel’s tragic death came just eight weeks after complaining of stomach pain and receiving a stage three cancer diagnosis.
Annabel said in a statement at the time of his death: “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.”
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