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Last Updated: Friday, 3 March 2006, 21:52 GMT
Soccer star's wife dies of cancer
Gary McAllister
McAllister stepped down as Coventry boss to look after his wife
The wife of former Scotland football captain Gary McAllister has died after losing her battle against cancer, a family spokesman said on Friday.

Denise McAllister's condition had been thought to be improving, but took a turn for the worse over recent months.

The ex Motherwell, Leicester, Leeds United, Liverpool and Coventry City player quit as manager of the latter club to look after his wife in 2003.

Mrs McAllister was diagnosed with breast cancer around six years ago.

In May 2005 McAllister said her progress was "pretty good", although the battle was "still ongoing".

The couple married at Gretna Green in 1993, and they had a son Jake, now aged 10.

She was first treated for breast cancer after finding a lump while seven months pregnant with the couple's second child.

Denise was very generous in telling her personal story in order to help others
Stephanie Jacobs, Breast Cancer Care
Mrs McAllister refused treatment until Oliver was born, then had an operation to remove her breast and lymph glands.

She was an ambassador for Breast Cancer Care and took part as a model in a star-studded charity fashion show attended by Cherie Blair in 2002.

Stephanie Jacobs, chair of the charity, said: "Denise was very generous in telling her personal story in order to help others at that time, and she continued to raise awareness of our charity and what we do in subsequent years.

"Everyone at Breast Cancer Care, especially those of us who met her, would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Denise's family and friends at this very sad time."

McAllister, 41, has said of his choice to quit Coventry City to care for Denise "As far as I was concerned it wasn't a decision.

"It was just the natural thing to do; I didn't want to be at a football club."

McAllister leaves Coventry
12 Jan 04 |  Coventry City

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