Strictly star pays tribute to late husband after sudden death - 'Miss you so much'

Annabel Croft
-Credit: (Image: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Annabel Croft has shared a heartfelt tribute to her late husband Mel Coleman, who died last year at age 60 after a short battle with cancer. Mel was diagnosed with stage three stomach cancer and passed away just months later.

Marking the first anniversary of his death, former tennis player and Strictly Come Dancing star Annabel took to Instagram to share a carousel of pictures from throughout the years. The post featured a myriad of beaming snaps, including some with the couple's three children; Charlie, Amber and Lilly.

Taking to the caption, Annabel simply wrote: "1 year today. Miss you so much. Thank you to everyone for your love and support". A number of fans and friends took to the comment section to send their love, including many of Annabel's Strictly co-stars. Johannes Radebe, who she was paired up with during her stint on the show last year, wrote: "Holding you all up my loves".

Annabel with her late husband Mel
Annabel shared a collection of pictures with her late husband and wrote: "I miss you so much" -Credit:Instagram / Annabel Croft

While Layton Williams, Graziana Di Prima, Gorka Marquez Karen Hauer, Jowita Przystal and Motsi Mabuse were among others to show their support. While Annabel described Strictly as a 'nice distraction' from grieving, she admitted the experience was strange without being able to talk with her husband.

She said last year: "So I just sat and cried. Mel was my biggest supporter, my protector. He gave me confidence. He made things right, always had done. I wanted to talk to him. I wanted to say: 'I am really nervous for tomorrow, but I don't have you to make it OK'."

She went on: "It was a weird scenario. I was about to go out in front of millions of people and be jolly and happy but I was sobbing, thinking: 'I don't know where you are, Mel. Where have you gone?'."

Annabel, Mel and their children
The couple shared three children; Charlie, Amber and Lilly. -Credit:Instagram / Annabel Croft

Annabel was married to Mel for 30 years, with the pair meeting when the latter taught her to sail in the late 1980s for a BBC TV programme. They wed six years later in Kent.

Confirming the news of his passing last year, she said: "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."

Annabel and Mel circa 1990
The couple met in the late 1980s while filming a BBC TV show -Credit:Instagram / Annabel Croft

A friend told the Daily Mail at the time : "This has come as an extreme shock to everyone – the diagnosis was out of the blue and Mel did not seem unwell at the time.

"Sadly the cancer progressed brutally.... Everyone is devastated and horrified, and Annabel is absolutely shattered."