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Mike Tindall shares sad news with fans after trip to Cardiff

The husband of Zara Tindall is in mourning

Jenni McKnight

Mike Tindall shared some sad news with his followers on Saturday as he revealed his friend has passed away following a lengthy battle with cancer. The husband of Zara Tindall took to Twitter to express his condolences to the family of former Wales rugby international star Matthew J Watkins, who died aged 41 on Friday. "So sad to hear that MJ Watkins passed away last night after fighting cancer for so long," Mike tweeted, adding: "Such a good laugh to be around and made people around him smile more! Pretty good player as well! Thoughts are with his family! #RIPMJ."

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Mike Tindall shares two daughters with wife Zara Tindall

Matthew was diagnosed with a rare form of pelvic cancer in 2013. In 2018, he discovered the cancer had spread to his spine and in January this year revealed it had spread to his head. He leaves behind wife Stacey and sons Siôr and Tal. A statement from his former team the Scarlets read: "The Scarlets family are deeply saddened by the news that our former player Matthew Watkins has passed away at the age of 41. MJ played 150 matches in a Scarlets jersey between 2002 and 2008, scoring 42 tries, including one against Ulster at Stradey Park that helped the Scarlets clinch the 2003-04 Celtic League title. He is fondly remembered as a silky-skilled, creative midfielder, who was a hugely popular figure among our supporters, the playing squad and staff at Stradey. The thoughts of everyone at Scarlets Rugby are with Matthew’s wife Stacey, his sons Siôr and Tal, family and friends at this sad time."

MORE: Mike Tindall returns from holiday with wife Zara for event close to his heart

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The sad passing of Mike's friend comes after he celebrated a successful trip to Cardiff earlier this week. Mike, along with Alex Goode and James Haskell, is a regular presenter on House of Rugby, and their popular sports podcast took to Cardiff on Tuesday evening for a special live show. Just ahead of the event, Mike took to Instagram to reveal his excitement after finding out that tickets had sold out in just three hours. The former rugby star shared a video of his reaction and told the camera: "Good evening and welcome, House of Rugby is in Cardiff. We're at the Depot, very excited! 1200 people, sold out in three hours. Who knew we were so popular?"

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