Ex-Arsenal striker John Hartson reveals his older sister Hayley has died with family left 'devastated'

JOHN HARTSON revealed the tragic death of his older sister Hayley.

The former Arsenal, Celtic and Wales striker took to social media to announce the sad news.

He wrote in an emotional post: "It is with great sadness today we put our Beloved Hayley to rest.

"Hayley passed away on the 21/10/2020.

"We are totally devastated.. she will be sorely missed.

"There are no words. RIP Big sister."

Former Irish footballer Andy Reid was among those to send his condolences on Twitter.

He said: "Deepest condolences mate, thoughts with you and your family today."

Ex-British boxer Scott Cardle and former Liverpool midfielder David Thompson also shared their best wishes with the Hartson family.

Hayley was one of four children to parents Cyril and Diana Hartson, with brothers James, professional footballer John and sister Victoria.

An obituary notice described her as the 'much-loved mother of James, loving daughter of Cyril and Diana, adored sister to James, John and Victoria, loved mother-in-law to Scarlett, dearest partner of Layton'.

It added: "Hayley will be greatly missed by her sisters-in-law, brother-in-law, nieces, nephews, family and her many friends."

A private funeral service will be held in Swansea at lunchtime today.

The family, alongside Harton's wife Sarah McManus, were particularly supportive of the three-time Welsh footballer of the year when he was in intensive care in 2009.

Ex-Gunners striker Hartson, 45, received emergency treatment when testicular cancer spread to his brain, liver and lungs.

Hayley was put through 'two-and-a-half years of hell' until she was cleared of a match-fixing scandal from 2016 at the beginning of last year.

Hayley, who was 45 when the ordeal was finally over in January 2019, was arrested but never charged after placing a £50 bet on her son James' Port Talbot football team to lose a match in which he did not play.

Victoria and her husband Leigh Du-Vulgt were also quizzed alongsideHayley's son James, 26.

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