Coleen Rooney's moving tribute to her 'angel' sister

Gemma Strong

Coleen Rooney shared a touching message for her late sister Rosie this week, on what would have been her 18th birthday. The 29-year-old, who recently welcomed her third son Kit with husband Wayne Rooney, posted a black and white photograph taken on her wedding day in 2008 of herself with her little sister.

Rosie, who tragically passed away in 2013, can been seen looking lovingly up at bride Coleen as she lavishes attention on the little girl. Alongside the snapshot, Coleen wrote a short and heartfelt tribute: "Happy 18th birthday to our very own angel! Love you Rosie xxxx."

Happy 18th Birthday to our very own angel! Love you Rosie xxx 👼🏼😘❤️

A photo posted by Coleen Rooney (@coleen_rooney) on

Coleen Rooney paid a touching tribute to her 'angel' sister Rosie

It is not the first time that Coleen has marked Rosie's birthday; in 2014, she used the same photograph to acknowledge what would have been the little girl's 16th.

Rosie bravely battled Rett syndrome, a rare brain disorder which causes severe disabilities. She passed away in January 2013, just a month before her 15th birthday.

Coleen's parents Tony and Colette McLoughlin adopted Rosie as a baby. In a statement at the time, the family said: "Rosie was just 14-years-old and fought a lifelong battle with Rett syndrome. Throughout her life she brought so much love and happiness to all our family and everyone who knew and met her.

Coleen's parents Colette and Tony adopted Rosie when she was a baby

"She was such a strong little girl and an inspiration to us all. We shall cherish for ever the memories we have shared and the love she showed us each and every day of her life. As a family we are heartbroken but we are blessed to have had her in our lives."

In an article with the Mail in 2006, Coleen opened up about Rosie's condition. "When Rosie arrived she could crawl, and even though she couldn't use her hands that much she would handle toys on her play mat and she could eat," she recalled.

"But over a period of time she stopped crawling and lost what use of her hands she had. Then she started having problems swallowing her food.

"It took pretty much a year for Rosie to be diagnosed and, looking back, I can see how much Mum pushed to find out what was wrong with her and to try to do what was best for her."

She touchingly added that Rosie "can't talk to us but you can tell when she's happy – she laughs and giggles and her eyes sparkle".

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