Cricket star Graham Lloyd has paid tribute to his ‘very courageous and terrific wife’ after she passed away following a five-year battle with a brain tumour.

Sharon Lloyd, of Ingleton Close, Accrington, died in the early hours of  Mother’s Day, aged just 37.

Graham, 41, who plays for Accrington Cricket Club, said his wife fought and carried on until the end and never let the illness get her down.

Sharon worked as a sales assistant at Accrington’s New Look store until last year and was an ‘amazing mum’ to her two sons Joshua, seven, and Joseph, 12.

Former Lancashire and England cricketer Graham, is the son of ex-England coach David Lloyd. Graham said: “She fought very hard with her illness and never complained.

“She always looked on the bright side of everything and used to always say there is somebody worse off than yourself. She was very courageous and a terrific wife, an amazing mum and it’s just very upsetting. She was ill for some time but it doesn’t make it any easier.

“It was tough to live with for such a long time knowing that that day will come. I have so much admiration for her and the way she fought and carried on and got every bit out of life.”

He added: “We knew it was coming. She had been getting worse over the past month and in the last few days she was sleeping peacefully and in no pain. I’d like to thank the consultants at Royal Preston Hospital, who were very good with her, as were the family doctors. We are really appreciative of the efforts off all those people.”

Sharon, originally from Liverpool, met Graham in 1994 in Southport before marrying in 1997 and later moving to Accrington.

She worked in a pharmacy and in retail and studied photography before giving up work last year due to ill health.

Her father-in-law David Lloyd, former Lancashire and England cricketer and Sky Sports commentator, said they were a ‘terrific pair’.

He said: “It’s a really sad and devastating time for the family, particularly for Graham and the two boys.

“They were a terrific pair, Sharon and Graham, and had a great sense of humour. They used to bounce off each other really good.

“She’s been poorly for a while and it all ended very quickly. The tragedy is she was only 37 years of age and had her whole life in front of her.

“She was scrapping like mad right until the end and we have all got to stick together as a family.”

Former Accrington Cricket Club captain and family friend David Ormerod added that most people who knew her would never have known she was even ill.

“She was a wonderful, strong and courageous woman. Graham and Sharon and the whole family just handled themselves with immense dignity throughout the course of her illness.

“People wouldn’t know. They never made it public. She was the life and soul of any party and she lit up the place. She was a wonderful mother to her two boys who are just two normal kids.”

Sharon leaves her husband Graham and sons Joshua and Joseph. She was the daughter of Carol and Steve, sister of Jenny and Ian, daughter-in-law of Susan and David and a much loved aunt.

Her funeral will take place at 1pm on Friday, April 8, at Accrington Crematorium.