Former Waterloo Road and Doctors actress Holly Matthews has paid tribute to her "incredible husband" after he died aged 32. Ross Blair, son of ex-Aston Villa and Coventry City player Andy Blair, passed away in Myton Hospice in Coventry after losing his battle with cancer. Holly, 32, confirmed the heartbreaking news on Tuesday, telling Coventry Telegraph in a statement: "On Saturday July 29, just as the final whistle was blowing for the end of Saturday football, my incredible husband took his last breath."
She added: "He was surrounded by me, his mum (Dionne Blair), dad (Andy Blair) and sister (Ashley Blair), peacefully and with the support of the incredible Myton Hospice staff. The loss we are feeling is unfathomable right now and breaking the news to my daughters was extremely tough, but we are supporting each other and taking it one step at a time." Ross, a property developer, was diagnosed with a rare aggressive malignant brain tumour in 2014. At the time he was given a 50-50 chance of surviving five years before undergoing brain surgery and chemotherapy.
STORY: Holly Matthews shares heartbreak over terminally ill husband
Holly, who has appeared in Byker Grove and The Bill, has been posting various video blogs on her YouTube channel, giving her followers updates into her life with her husband, whom she has been with for nine years. Ross leaves behind two daughters, Brooke, six, and Texas, four, with his wife. Holly has vowed to "ride the waves" of grief and will strive to support her children. "He loved those girls so much and he was the best dad, he chose to be around them, he adored them," she added.
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"I have lost my best friend. I have talked to the girls about energy and how energy never dies, that the people we love live on in our hearts and our memories and they no longer walk beside us but they are within us, part of of us and as Ross had an opinion on everything, we have no doubt what he would say in every situation. The coming months will be tough but we will ride the waves and do what we need to."