Beth Mead’s mother June dies following ‘long and brave battle’ against cancer

England forward Beth Mead has paid tribute to her “beautiful, kind and funny mum” following her death from ovarian cancer.

The Arsenal player took to social media to confirm that her mother June Mead had “passed away peacefully” last Saturday.

Beth Mead posted on Instagram and Twitter: “Thought long and hard about what to write but there will never be any words that will do justice.

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“At 1am on the 7th of Jan, our beautiful, kind, funny Mum & Wife passed away after a long & brave battle against Ovarian Cancer.

“She was surrounded by myself, my brother & dad as she passed away peacefully.

“Our hearts are broken, there will be a piece missing forever but heaven has now gained a special angel.

“If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. I’m sad that you are gone, but I’m more grateful for the time we had together.

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“Our family would appreciate some privacy during this difficult time. We love you lots, forever & always. RIP Mama.”

Alongside the tribute Mead posted a variety of pictures of her mother, with some showing her mum supporting the Lioness at last year’s European Championship, which England won after beating Germany in the final at Wembley.

Although Mead’s season has been cut short due to an ACL injury, the 27-year-old has been recognised for her contributions on the pitch.

In December she won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year and was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list, with her performances also earning a nomination for the Best FIFA Women’s Player award.

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Arsenal’s players will wear black armbands during Sunday’s Women’s Super League match against Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium as a mark of respect.

“We had the news and I want to send my condolences to Beth Mead and her family with the loss of her mother,” Gunners boss Jonas Eidevall told a pre-match press conference.

“That’s obviously something that has been taking a lot of energy for us as a team, to have a team-mate that goes through that. The players have asked to play with black armbands to honour that, and that’s what we are going to do.”