Vinnie Jones' wife dies after long illness

The wife of former footballer Vinnie Jones, Tanya, has died at their LA home after a long illness.
The wife of former footballer Vinnie Jones, Tanya, has died at their LA home after a long illness.

The wife of Vinnie Jones, the retired British footballer turned Hollywood actor, has died at their Los Angeles home after a long illness.

Jones was married to Tanya, 53, for 25 years and was at her bedside when she died on Saturday, his manager said.

A statement from Jones's management said: "At 8.46am local time in Los Angeles on Saturday July 6, Vinnie Jones's wife, Tanya Jones, passed away after a long illness.

"Tanya passed peacefully at the Jones family home surrounded by Vinnie, their daughter and other family members.

"Vinnie and the family ask for privacy while they go through an understandable period of mourning during this devastating time."

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

In 2013, Jones, an ex-midfielder best known for being part of the Crazy Gang at Wimbledon, told how the couple had both been diagnosed with skin cancer.

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 an interview two years ago Jones described Tanya as "the most incredible person".

"I think we're the perfect match and I was lucky to find it," he said.

After his retirement from football, Jones capitalised on his tough image, often being cast in Hollywood films as violent criminals and thugs.

His film career began with Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, as well as roles in Snatch, Gone in 60 Seconds, and Mean Machine. He played Juggernaut in the 2006 film X-Men: The Last Stand.

Australian Associated Press