Ashley Cain has heartbreakingly revealed he spent his 32nd birthday sitting my his late daughter's grave on a fold up chair.
The former footballer appeared on Good Morning Britain to talk about his completion of a 1700 mile cycling tour through Europe to raise money for the The Azaylia Foundation, the charity set up in honour of his daughter who died age eight months.
And speaking to hosts Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard he said: “When people ask me if these challenges are hard, I have to tell them, it’s not hard. Every single night visiting your daughter at a cemetery, that's hard."
He heartbreakingly added: "It was my birthday on Tuesday, I spent the morning with a fold-out chair sitting in the rain eating my breakfast at her resting place – that's hard.”
The former reality TV star went on to reveal that he will be keeping his beard forever due to Azaylia’s love for it. He said: “She used to love this beard, she used to latch onto it.
“She used to rub her toes and her feet through it and when we lost Azaylia, I pledged to keep the beard because she’s touched these very hairs on my face. And it’s something that I wanna keep with me for the rest of my life, cause in a way I believe that it’s a form of my strength and it’ll help me push through.”
When Ashley's beloved daughter Azaylia passed away at the age of eight months in April 2021, the dad-of-one was left in pieces. Spending every day with his family, he struggled to come to terms with the gaping hole left behind by his baby girl.
Less than a year later, he was dealt yet another blow as he was told his grandmother had died, joining "the angels in paradise", just minutes before he was due to head into the very first Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins challenge.
Speaking exclusively to OK! about the moment he found out, which will not be seen on screen, Ashley shared: "On that first episode, I got a phone call from home telling me that I lost my grandma, then we had to go straight to the first challenge. She passed away and they didn't air that…"
Ashley said the producers ultimately called him to let him know of their decision not to air the heart wrenching scenes, which would have seen him talking about his beloved Nana.
Describing the situation as a "tough experience all round", Ashley went on to say that people don't know who they really are until they go through something difficult.
"That was why I went in there, and I believe that I had a good crack at it," he said.
Ashley, who went on the show to "combat the trauma" of Azaylia's death, added: "It was it was hard. Yeah, it was very difficult in extremely different aspects. Well, I guess that's what I wanted to."
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