has revealed he got the phone call informing him his grandmother had died just before he was due to take part in the first Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins challenge, but didn’t want to make ‘excuses’ and skip it.
The former footballer, 31, who also lost his eight-month-old daughter Azaylia to leukaemia in April 2021, opened up about receiving the news during filming, telling : ‘On that first episode, I got a phone call from home telling me that I lost my grandma, then we had to go straight to the first challenge.
‘She passed away and they didn’t air that…’
Ashley revealed that he was offered the option to miss the first task in the gruelling Channel 4 reality show in light of the news but wanted to soldier on regardless of his bereavement.
He explained: ‘I had the option to pull out the first day or continue the show. Afterwards, when I got my head around losing my grandma, I said “No, I’m here. I’ve got to do it properly. I don’t want to cheat. I don’t want people to make exceptions for me, because in life you don’t get exceptions made for you.
‘“No one cares about your excuses. So I’m not going to have any excuses right now, while I’m in here.”’
Ashley had chosen to take part in Celebrity SAS to ‘combat the trauma’ of losing his daughter after her brave battle with leukaemia.
The scenes of him receiving the call about his grandmother’s death will not be aired on the show.
Ashley had shared a tribute to his grandmother following her death in November 2021, sharing a photo of her cradling Azaylia in her lap.
He wrote: ‘While I was away I got the devastating news that my Grandma had sadly passed away and joined the angels in paradise.
‘Grandma Cain you created a great, strong, successful and respectful family from nothing but hard work, tough love and good blood.
‘You will be missed forever by us all. Please now look after my little angel in heaven as I know she will be excited to see you again!’
Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins continues on Sunday at 9pm on Channel 4.