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Footballers and celebrities send condolences to Sky Sports presenter Simon Thomas after tragic death of wife

PUBLISHED: 22:44 25 November 2017

Gemma and Simon Thomas pictured at Dereham St Nicholas Church in 2004. Picture: ADRIAN JUDD

Gemma and Simon Thomas pictured at Dereham St Nicholas Church in 2004. Picture: ADRIAN JUDD

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East Anglia-raised TV presenter Simon Thomas has said he is “crushed with indescribable pain” after his wife Gemma died just three days after falling ill with acute myeloid leukaemia.

The Sky Sports presenter tweeted the tragic news this morning and the committed Christian urged people to pray for their eight-year-old son Ethan. Messages of condolences have poured in during the day.

Mr Thomas, 44, who grew up in Cromer and Grimston near King’s Lynn in Norfolk, wrote in an emotional post on Twitter: “Today I am crushed with indescribable pain. Just three days after falling ill with Acute Myloid Leukaemia, my dear wife Gemma passed away yesterday evening surrounded by her family and friends. If you are a prayer - pray for my boy Ethan. 8yrs, precious and in bits. Thank you.”

Acute myeloid leukaemia is a type of blood cancer that affects the bone marrow.

Norwich City FC tweeted: “Simon, the thoughts of everybody at Norwich City are with yourself, Ethan and everyone else who knew and loved Gemma at this sad time.”

Simon Thomas at the Norfolk Sports Awards 2016. Picture: MATTHEW USHERSimon Thomas at the Norfolk Sports Awards 2016. Picture: MATTHEW USHER

EDP Norwich City columnists Melissa Rudd and Robin Sainty were among more thousands to pass on their condolences via Twitter.

Norwich Community Sports Foundation, for whom Mr Thomas has been a community ambassador, tweeted: “Simon, it is impossible for us to imagine how you and Ethan must be feeling, but please know that everyone at CSF is thinking of you and sending our love.”

Suffolk campaigner and fundraiser Gina Long MBE tweeted: “Sending love, thoughts and prayers to you, Ethan and your family. Life is too cruel, that’s for sure. RIP Gemma.”

Football clubs, including Burnley, Fulham and Wigan, tweeted their support, while Leicester striker Jamie Vardy, former West Ham player Carlton Cole, Bournemouth’s Marc Pugh and ex-Canary Anthony Pilkington, now at Cardiff City, offered condolences.

Mr Thomas was a Blue Peter presenter from 1999-2005, and worked alongside presenters Matt Baker, Konnie Huq, and Liz Barker.

Television colleagues, including Phillip Schofield, Andi Peters and Charlotte Coleman, also tweeted condolences.

Speaking to Mirror Online, Mr Thomas said his wife had felt ill last weekend and told to take tablets and rest. But she continued to feel unwell and, after taking her to hospital, she was diagnosed with leukaemia and taken to a specialist hospital in Oxford.

She started chemotherapy, but yesterday morning, Mr Thomas was given the devastating news that she had just hours to live. She died last night.

Mr Thomas, who thanked people for their condolences, said their son was able to have some time with his mother yesterday, but has asked for his mummy back for Christmas.

Mr and Mrs Thomas, 40, who used to work as a press officer for the Electoral Commission, were married at St Nicholas Church in Sevenoaks in Kent in 2005.

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