Annabel Croft is ready to sell home she built with late husband Mel

Annabel Croft plans to move to Wimbledon

Former tennis player Annabel Croft at the opening of the new padel tennis courts
Annabel Croft is ready to sell home she built with late husband Mel. (Getty)

Annabel Croft has said she is ready to sell the house she built with her late husband Mel Colman in Surrey.

The news comes after Croft was mugged at London's King's Cross while waiting for taxi. The 57-year-old was shocked when her phone was snatched by a man wearing a black balaclava and riding a bike but luckily he dropped it and she managed to get it back.

Now Croft has revealed her plans to move home and find somewhere smaller to live near her "tennis family" in Wimbledon, London. "I'm no longer crying every day," she told The Daily Mail. "I'm now ready to sell." She added: "Mel is the last person I think of when I go to sleep and the first when I wake up."

Last May, the tennis superstar lost her husband Mel after a short battle with cancer aged 60. Strictly Come Dancing and her professional dancer Johannes Radebe helped the sports star while she was grieving.

It's been more than 20 years since Croft and her husband bought a 1960s four-bedroom home for £1.3million in 2001 which they knocked down and built their dream house in its place with six bedrooms, five bathrooms and of course a tennis court.

Annabel Croft (L) and Mel Coleman pictured in June 2021.
Annabel Croft (L) and Mel Coleman pictured in June 2021. (Getty)

Earlier this year, Croft had said the house felt "empty" without her husband there. She said she hadn't cleared out his toothbrush and his clothes as she mulled over selling the house.

She told Women & Home Magazine in February this year: "It’s weird because the house that was full of Mel is suddenly empty. All his stuff is still there. His side table in our bedroom is full, all his clothes, his toothbrush is still there.

"It feels very final if you pick up that toothbrush and put it in the bin. If I sell the house, maybe that will be the time to clear everything out, but right now, I don’t know."

Croft hadn't picked up her husband's ashes from funeral director in February, eight months after losing him. During a grief phone-in segment on This Morning alongside agony aunt Deirdre Sanders, the tennis star sympathised with a caller who said she had sent a relative to pick up her husband's ashes.

She said: "If it's any consolation, I have not picked up my husband's ashes yet and I'm eight, nine months in. It was just the finality of knowing that my husband who was such a vibrant person, a vibrant character with such a great sense of humour, was suddenly going to be in this urn or this box and I still can't bring myself to do it.

"Sometimes I'm driving round in my car and I'm quite near the funeral directors and I think, should I just go and park the car and pick him up? But I just can't do it."

Strictly Come Dancing's Annabel Croft and Johannes Radebe. (BBC)
Strictly Come Dancing's Annabel Croft and Johannes Radebe. (BBC)

Strictly and her professional dancer brought a lot of light into her life following the death of her husband. They have become great friends and stayed in touch following the end of the show, with Croft also helping Radebe grieve the loss of his cousin.

Earlier this year, Radebe said it was Croft who had helped him. He told Jessie Ware's Table Manners podcast in February: "I mean, a lot of people say, 'Oh Johannes, you helped Annabel' but no, Annabel helped me."

Croft has spoken at length about how much Radebe has helped her with grieving too. When she left the show, she said: "It’s been the most life-changing and extraordinary experience of my life. Johannes, you have been absolutely extraordinary. You have given me a reason to get out of bed and come and dance with you, distract me and to heal me. You have been so patient, so caring and so loving. You are an unbelievably special human being. I simply adore you."