Ashley Cain has revealed that he found out his grandmother died on the first day of filming for Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins, moments before filming the first task.
The former footballer, 31, sadly lost his daughter Azaylia aged just eight months in April 2021 following a battle with acute myeloid leukaemia.
And just seven months later, Ashley was hit with another heartbreak when his beloved grandmother died while he was filming the Channel 4 show.
Heartbreak: Ashley Cain has revealed he found out his grandmother died on the first day of filming Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins, moments before filming the first task
Speaking about his loss, Ashley explained that he found out about his grandmother’s death on the first day of filming, in scenes that won’t air.
He said OK! Magazine: “On this first episode, I got a phone call from home saying I had lost my grandmother, then we had to go straight to the first challenge, she died and they didn’t air that.”
Ashley revealed that she was offered the option to skip the show’s first grueling task, but insisted on continuing despite her grief.
He said: “Afterwards, when I felt like losing my grandmother, I said ‘No, I’m here, I have to do it right, I don’t want to cheat. I don’t want people to make exceptions for me, because in life you don’t make exceptions for yourself.’
Heartbreaking: Speaking about his loss, Ashley explained that he found out about his grandmother’s death on the first day of filming, in scenes that will not be shown
Ashley said scenes were filmed showing him talking about his beloved grandmother, but Channel 4 producers decided not to air the emotional scenes.
He said he joined Celebrity SAS to “combat the trauma” of the death of his daughter Azaylia, saying he found the show “very difficult” at times.
The former Coventry City footballer said filming the program in Jordan was the first time he had been around so many people since Azaylia’s tragic death.
He said it was difficult to spend time away from home as he could not visit his daughter’s grave, which he previously did with his former partner Safiyya Vorajee every day.
Tragic: His grandmother’s death came after the 31-year-old former footballer lost his daughter Azaylia aged just eight months in April 2021 following a battle with acute myeloid leukemia
In November 2021, Ashley took to Instagram to announce that her grandmother had passed away in a heartbreaking post.
His message read: ‘While I was away I learned the devastating news that my grandmother has sadly passed away and has joined the angels in heaven.
“Grandma Cain, you have created a wonderful, strong, prosperous and respectful family through hard work, tough love and good blood. We will all miss you forever.
He concluded, “Now please take care of my little angel in heaven because I know she will be delighted to see you again!”
Soldier on: Ashley revealed she was offered the chance to take time off from the show’s first grueling task, but insisted on continuing filming despite her grief
Elsewhere, Ashley revealed he wanted to ‘find out who he was’ during his ‘challenging and empowering’ experience on Celebrity SAS following the death of his daughter.
He said he believed that in order to ‘combat trauma’ you had to ‘get out of your comfort zone’, so when the opportunity arose to do the show, he ‘took it with both hands’ .
Speaking about why he took on the challenge, he said: ‘Well it was very close to my daughter passing. The loss of my daughter was the most difficult experience of my life.
“I think to fight trauma, you have to get out of your comfort zone and see who you really are. There’s no better way to do this than on SAS Who Dares Wins, so when the opportunity presented itself, I grabbed it with both hands.
Loss: Ashley said it was difficult to spend time away from home as he was unable to visit his daughter’s grave, which he did with his former partner Safiyya Vorajee every day
“I really wanted to know who I was, so I wanted to see if I could put my money where my mouth is.”
He continued: “I said I was going to be strong for my daughter and I was going to keep fighting for my daughter, I wanted to put this into action as soon as possible.”
Ashley added that he didn’t want anyone on the show to feel sympathy for him because of what happened to his daughter and that he didn’t get any special treatment.
He was joined on the show by actresses Maisie Smith, 21, and Jennifer Ellison, 39; TV personality Calum Best, 41; Reality TV stars Amber Gill, 24, and Ferne McCann, 32; Olympic javelin gold medalist Fatima Whitbread MBE, 61, and Pete Wicks.
Struggles: Elsewhere, Ashley revealed he wanted to ‘find out who he was’ during his ‘difficult and empowering’ experience on Celebrity SAS following the death of his daughter
Also attending are influencers and brothers AJ and Curtis Pritchard, 27 and 26; Olympic sprinter, Dwain Chambers, 44; Olympic gold medalist Jade Jones OBE, 29, professional boxer, Shannon Courtenay, 29, and Paralympic high jumper, Jonathan Broom-Edwards MBE, 34.
The show’s first episode, which aired on Sunday, began with the celebrities each entering a gas chamber where they were forced to remove their gas masks and test their nerves.
The celebrities were reduced to tears and vomited from gas before struggling to find their way.
Strong: Ashley added that he didn’t want anyone to feel sympathy for him on the show because of what happened to his daughter and that he didn’t get any special treatment
After Fatima Whitbread passed the challenge with flying colors, she was taken in for questioning.
She explained how she was abandoned as a baby and spent her childhood in foster care.
Fatima explained: “Sport was my saviour. Finding Margaret, my adoptive mother, was the best thing that ever happened to me.
Meanwhile, Amber started struggling during one of the drills and later broke down at camp, saying she “couldn’t do it”.
Charity: Ashley recently ran five marathons in five days to raise money for the Azaylia Foundation – which helps sick children access treatment not available on the NHS