Arsenal squad makes heartwarming gesture to Beth Mead after England Lioness loses mum to cancer

Beth Mead with her mum (left) and the Arsenal men's team

Arsenal footballers have paid a heart-warming tribute to England Lioness Beth Mead after her mum died from ovarian cancer.

After Mead announced on Saturday (14 January) that her mum had died earlier this month following a “battle against ovarian cancer”, the Arsenal men’s team were pictured in the dressing room holding a football shirt that read: “Thinking of you Beth.” 

Mead, 27, who won BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year just before Christmas, was not at the North London derby against Spurs on Sunday. 

In another show of solidarity, her Arsenal teammates on the women’s team wore black armbands during a match against Chelsea on the same day.

Liverpool and Manchester United Women were also spotted wearing black armbands for Mead.

Mead announced on Instagram that her mum had died on 7 January.

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She wrote: “Our beautiful, kind, funny mum and wife passed away after a long and brave battle against ovarian cancer. 

“She was surrounded by [me], my brother and dad as she passed away peacefully. Our hearts are broken, there will be a piece missing for ever, but heaven has now gained a special angel. 

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

Having helped England to win the Women’s Euros last year, Mead, who is in a relationship with Arsenal teammate Vivianne Miedema, became only the second out LGBTQ+ athlete to win BBC Sports Personality of the Year. 

Upon receiving the award, she said: “I’m speechless. I’m incredibly honoured to win this award.

“I’ll keep saying, it’s a cliché, but I wouldn’t have done it without the girls over there and a team that have backed me. Yes, I’ve got this accolade, I did my job, I scored a few goals but I wouldn’t have done it without them, and I certainly wouldn’t have done it without my dad, my mum and all my family. 

“Most of all, this is for women’s sport and for women’s sport heading in the right direction, so let’s keep pushing girls and keep doing the right thing.”

Mead also won the coveted Golden Boot for most goals scored in the Euros, and was named player of the tournament.