“IF love could have saved you, you would have lived forever,” wrote Beth Mead yesterday in an emotionally charged tribute to her mother, who was also her inspiration, after she passed away from ovarian cancer.
The story of Beth’s rise captivated the country last year, the way the lass from Whitby channelled her energies after not being selected for England’s World Cup squad so that she became the stand-out player as the team triumphed in the European Championships. That’s why she was voted as the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
Beth has always paid great tribute to both of her parents, June and Richard, who devoted so much and energy time to getting her to training at Middlesbrough and Sunderland so that she could fulfil her footballing dreams.
Beth said: “Mum sacrificed so much, she worked two jobs. I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.”
When June was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2021, Beth used it to spur herself on to achieve something in the sadly short time her mother had left. It was her way of repaying her mother for all those sacrifices.
At the BBC award, when sport seemed to be all that mattered, Beth put it in context: “At the end of the day, I’ve just been playing football while she’s been battling one of the hardest diseases that is known to anyone, so my biggest motivation and biggest moment [of the year] is just my mum, my mum in general.”
Our hearts go out to Beth and her family, but we are sure that June was so proud of them all.
Beth also said in her message: “I’m sad that you are gone, but I’m more grateful for the time we had together.” Like mother, like daughter – what amazing inspirations they are to us all.
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