Jane McDonald has revealed that her fiancé Eddie Rothe has died.
A statement published to the singer’s, 58, Twitter account confirmed that Walter ‘Eddie’ Rothe, 68, passed away on March 26th, after a months-long battle with lung cancer.
Alongside a photograph of the couple, Jane’s statement confirmed that the funeral for the former The Searchers drummer took place on Wednesday morning.
Sad news: Jane McDonald has revealed that her fiancé Eddie Rothe has died aged 68, after a months-long battle with lung cancer
The statement read: ‘It is with immense sadness that we share the news that Jane’s beloved life partner, Ed, passed away on Friday 26th March.
‘He had been battling lung cancer for the last few months. We would like to thank everyone for all their help and support during this very difficult time, especially the NHS staff and the wonderful team at The Wakefield Hospice.
‘The funeral took place earlier today and we would please ask for your kindness in observing Jane’s privacy for her and Ed’s family at this sad time.’
MailOnline has contacted Jane McDonald’s representatives for comment.
The former Loose Women star and musician Eddie first met in 1980 – when she was just 17 – and dated for six months before splitting up and moving on with their lives.
Speaking about how they first men, Jane previously explained: ‘We’d first met in the 80s when I was waitressing at a Wakefield nightclub.
‘Disco group, Liquid Gold were playing. The drummer, Wal, asked if we could have a drink. He was tall, blond and built like a god. We hit it off and started going out.’
The young couple broke up when Jane decided to pursue a career singing on cruises – a career which saw her become a celebrity after appearing on BBC fly-on-the-wall show The Cruise – but reunited decades later.
Tributes on social media: Loose Women led those sharing their condolences
Paying tribute to Ed, the official Loose Women Twitter account shared: ‘Our deepest condolences go to our friend and former Loose Woman Jane McDonald whose life partner Ed Rothe has passed away.
‘Ed was a part of our Loose Women family for many years and appeared on our show on numerous occasions. We’re sending love to Jane and her and Ed’s family.’
Actress Crissy Rock also reached out to Jane, tweeting: ‘My heart is breaking for the lovely Jane McDonald on the loss of her life partner Ed who has sadly passed away. Thoughts, love and prayers to Jane and Ed’s family.’
Childhood sweethearts: The Loose Women star and musician Eddie met in 1980 and dated for six months before splitting up and moving on with their lives, before reuniting decades later
Drag Race UK star Bag A Chips shared a shot of herself with Jane and wrote: ‘I am sending so much love to my dear friend @TheJaneMcDonald today. Ed was such a hoot when we got to meet at Heaven and had me in stitches. Big Baga hugs to you hun. Rock on Ed!’
X Factor singer Joe McElderry responded to Jane’s statement on social media, writing: ‘Thinking of you Jane. Lots of love and thoughts.’
The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation also tweeted: ‘We are so sorry to read this Jane. You and your family are in our thoughts. Please get in touch if there is anything we can do.’
Jane went on to marry twice; first in 1987 to a man called Paul for one year, and then to Danish engineer Henrik Brixen from 1998 until 2002.
Henrik worked as a plumbing engineer on a ship when the couple met, but he went on to become Jane’s manager after they married in 1998.
In her 2019 autobiography titled Riding The Waves: My Story, Jane touched upon her and Henrik’s conversation around starting a family. She wrote: ‘Henrik and I once talked about having children but there wasn’t room for babies in his plans for me. I began to feel lonely in my marriage.
‘Your manager is your boss and tells you what to do, what to wear and who to be, so our relationship changed. I loved him with all my heart, but felt he’d stopped looking at me as a wife. I became a product.
A case of the ex: Jane went on to marry twice; first in 1987 to a man called Paul for one year, and then to Danish engineer Henrik Brixen from 1998 until 2002 (Pictured with Henrik in 1999)
‘Eventually, I came to the devastating conclusion that I really did have nothing left. I told Henrik, “I’m firing you as my manager.'”
Jane previously asserted that Henrik left their marriage to save her career, explaining to the Mirror: ‘Henrik tried his very, very best and he was brilliant at what he did, but he didn’t know the industry.
‘We’d come to a point where Henrik had made quite a few enemies and he said, “If I don’t leave you, you are never going to have a career.”
‘And that is why I never talk about Henrik in a bad light at all because he was the one that walked out of the marriage to save my career.’
Business and pleasure: Henrik worked as a plumbing engineer on a ship when the couple met, but he went on to become Jane’s manager after they married in 1998 (Pictured in 1998)
After the couple split in 2002, Jane rekindled her relationship with Eddie and became engaged to him in 2008, over Christmas.
Jane wrote of her engagement to Eddie in her autobiography, when she penned: ‘Suddenly, Ed cleared his throat and put his hand in his pocket. “Jane, you are definitely the one for me, and I should have done this 26 years ago,” he said. “Will you marry me?”
‘I was so overwhelmed that I started crying. Then Ed started crying! People around us were mortified – thinking we’d split up.’
‘”No, no, he’s just asked me to marry him!” I said, laughing through the tears.’
She told the Daily Mirror of their rekindled romance: ‘My life has been a lot of being in the right place at the right time, so being back with Eddie has something of destiny about it. We both realise we are lucky to have found each other again.
Decades later: Jane rekindled her relationship with childhood sweetheart Eddie and became engaged to him in 2008 (Pictured in 2008)
‘I am genuinely having fun again. I’m more confident than ever and I’ve got a fantastic man who makes me laugh every day.’
In 2011, Jane spoke of their engagement, admitting: ‘This must be the longest courtship and engagement in history. We first met when most people in this country weren’t even born!
‘Ed’s been so patient. He’s fantastic, adorable and we’re having such a great time together. We are not rushing to get married.
‘I love this one more than I ever loved the others and I don’t want to jinx it. In any case, I can’t afford to get divorced again,’ joked the star.
The happy couple: ‘I love this one more than I ever loved the others and I don’t want to jinx it. In any case, I can’t afford to get divorced again,’ joked the star in 2011 (Pictured in 2016)