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The Gentlemen's Vinnie Jones' private life: from wife Tanya's heartbreaking death to 400-year-old country farm and 11-year sobriety

The footballer-turned-actor owns a farm in West Sussex

Vinnie Jones
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
20 March 2024
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Vinnie Jones reunited with his longtime collaborator Guy Ritchie in Netflix's new gangster drama The Gentlemen, which has gone down a storm with viewers since its release earlier this month. 

The retired professional footballer turned Hollywood actor plays groundskeeper Geoff Seacombe in the series, which stars Theo James as army officer Eddie Horniman, who takes over his family's 500-year-old estate after the death of his father, the Duke of Halstead, only to discover its connections to an underground cannabis empire. 

While Vinnie is no stranger to playing gangsters on-screen, having starred in Ritchie's first two films, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, his life away from the cameras couldn't be more different. Keep reading for all we know about his home life in the countryside and the tragic passing of his beloved wife Tanya.

WATCH: Vinnie Jones stars in Netflix's The Gentlemen

Vinnie Jones' home life away from the cameras

When he's not busy dodging bullets and fighting off gangsters in Hollywood, Vinnie can be found in West Sussex, where he owns a 400-year-old farm that spreads across 2,000 acres.

Vinnie bought the farmland back in 2022 and since then has immersed himself in country life by renovating the farm into a sustainable agribusiness - a process that's documented in the Discovery+ series, Vinnie Jones in the Country.

Vinnie Jones in The Bezonians© Trinity Creative Partnership/101 Films
Vinnie Jones is known for appearing in gangster films, including 2021 thriller The Bezonians

Speaking about the renovation project during an appearance on The One Show in October last year, Vinnie told hosts Alex Jones and Roman Kemp: "It brings a lot of lads together. You know I think mental health is such a massive thing now and going through it myself, obviously, over the last three or four years.

"It's brought a few lads together and I've taken on this farm."

Vinnie's family life and heartbreaking death of wife Tanya Jones

Vinnie's move to West Sussex came a few years after the heartbreaking passing of his wife of 25 years, Tanya, who died aged 53 of a melanoma that had spread to her brain.

The couple, who first met aged 12, tied the knot in Watford in 1994. Together, they share a son, Aaron, who is now 33 years old and a soldier in the British Army. Vinnie is also a stepdad to Tanya's daughter from a previous marriage, Kaley.

Vinnie Jones with Tanya Terry in 1994© David Crump/Daily Mail/Shutterstock
Vinnie Jones with Tanya Terry in 1994

Tanya passed away in 2019 at their Los Angeles home after a six-year battle with cancer. Opening up about her final days in an interview with the Sunday Mirror in 2019, Vinnie recalled: "In that last week of her life when the doctors said there were no more treatments, I never told her she was dying. We never spoke of that, I didn't want her to know. In the hospital I slept there every night and Kaley would come every morning." 

vinnie jones
Vinnie's wife Tanya passed away in 2019

Opening up on her final moments, Vinnie revealed he was by Tanya's side as she passed away. "We knew it was the end, we were cuddling her," he said. "I kissed her a lot and told her I loved her. I kept saying, 'I love you, I love you'."

In May last year, Vinnie revealed that four years on from her death, he still couldn't "comprehend" going to bed without Tanya. "Grief is a ghost. It’s a blanket. It wraps around you and it pulls you down," he told New Zealand entertainment website Stuff.

Vinnie Jones with his son Junior Soldier Aaron Ellison-Jones after his passing out parade at the Army Foundation College, Harrogate, North Yorkshire© Anna Gowthorpe - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images
Vinnie with his son Junior Soldier Aaron Ellison-Jones after his passing out parade at the Army Foundation College in 2008

"You never get past the traumatic reality of it. I still can't [expletive] comprehend that I'm going to bed on my own tonight."

He added: "My spirit may be broken inside, but I think I’ve got enough knowledge and enough experience to cope with it."

Vinnie's sobriety 

During the 1990s and early 2000s, Vinnie made headlines for his violent behaviour, including an alleged drunken assault of a neighbour in 1997, and biting a journalist's nose in a Dublin bar in 1995.

Some years later, he decided to make a change and gave up alcohol. Reflecting on his drinking days, he told GQ in a recent interview: "I was a party alcoholic. I'd do it to be a laugh – it was like inviting the [expletive] court jester. I'd be really funny and then there was a point where it levelled and came back the other way. I don't think alcohol was my hook, I think it was the sugar. The sugar got me to a [expletive] buzzing place, but once the alcohol kicked in, I was kind of paranoid. I was very defensive if someone was negative towards me."

Vinnie Jones in The Gentlemen© Netflix
Vinnie Jones as Geoff Seacombe in The Gentlemen

Addressing his sobriety back in 2013, Vinnie said: "The less I drink, the more my anger fades. I think that's how it started in the first place. My parents got divorced when I was young, and alcohol seemed to trigger everything off. The problem's not the bottle – it's the case. 

"I'm the case or nothing, last man standing," he told The Guardian, adding that at the time he hadn't had a drink for six months.

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