Tennis legend Annabel Croft was left devastated by the sudden death of her husband, prior to the recent announcement she is now the 14th celebrity to join the 2023 line-up of Strictly Come Dancing.
The 57-year-old's husband Mel Coleman's sadly passed away in May this year and the devastating loss came as a 'shock' to the star.
The couple, who were married for 30 years and tied the knot in 1992, passed away aged 60 after a battle with cancer. The couple have three adult children together, Charlie, Amber and Lily together.
The former America’s Cup yachtsman, who co-ran a tennis school with Annabel, was diagnosed with stage three cancer after complaining of sudden stomach problems, reported by the Mirror. It's thought he tragically passed away just eight weeks later.
Annabel, at the time, shared the heartbreaking news of her husband's death, in a statement which read: "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."
Now, it appears that she could be ready to focus on the future as she's set to pick up her dancing shoes to join the new series of Strictly and turn her impressive sporting skills to the dancefloor.
Kicking off in just a few week's time, Annabel said she's excited about her latest venture and hopes to find 'joy' in this chapter of her life.
She said: "I have always loved watching Strictly and can’t quite believe I’m going to be part of this magical show – swapping tennis balls for glitter balls and looking forward to finding some joyfulness in the process."
Fans shared their excitement at the announcement after the official Strictly account shared the news on social media, with one writing: "Great choice. What a hard year for Annabel. I hope this will bring her a lot of joy!"
And another kindly added: "I have no words to say how excited I am for this. She lost her husband recently, she absolutely smashed it at Wimbledon presenting this year and now on Strictly. Annabel you are amazing and an inspiration to us all. Your darling husband will be watching you from above."
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