Footballer Jamie Barrett issues emotional tribute after wife dies from cancer

English footballer Jamie Barrett has paid tribute to his wife after she died from cancer this month.

The captain of Gresley FC, Barrett said how proud he was of wife Leanne, as he comes to grips with life without her after she lost a two-year battle with lung cancer.

Barrett and Leanne met 13 years ago and married in 2016. They have two young children together and the football player, who previously trained at Sheffield United, said he will ensure his wife’s legacy lives on.

“You never quite realise how devastating cancer is until it happens to someone you love,” Barrett told the Derby Telegraph.

“I just want everyone to know how proud I was of the woman I married.

“I didn’t realise what a woman she was until her fight and determination when she became ill.

“She will be a fine example for our children growing up and she will leave a legacy that I will remind the children of every day.

“Leanne’s personality was infectious. When she walked in the room she would start up the conversation and she was chatty, bubbly, outgoing, obviously beautiful but very caring as well.

“She was just a fun, happy person.”

Leanne was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in 2018, aged 33, when she was pregnant with son Beau.

“I could not praise her highly enough for how much of a fighter she was and her strength,” Barrett said.

“Being pregnant when she was diagnosed was a double blow but she protected our son for as long as she could, even though she was in pain.

“We didn’t know if he would survive but she was always trying to be positive for our little girl.

“The last 18 months were horrendous. The only thing that kept us going was our children.”

Barrett said Leanne was “so strong throughout it all” and praised her for discharging herself from hospital to be home for daughter India-Lily’s sixth birthday.

A GoFundMe page set up for Leanne has raised nearly $AUD110,000 and Barrett, 37, said he will be donating money to Royal Derby Hospital “after all they did for Beau”.

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