Footballer, 21, who gave birth despite doctors saying she couldn't dies after three-year fight with ovarian cancer
Emma Mincher had been given the all clear but cancer tragically returned
Gave birth to two daughters after being told she could not have childrenTalented footballer played for Blackburn Rovers' women's team
11:00 GMT, 1 March 2013
11:06 GMT, 1 March 2013
A young mother and professional footballer has died aged just 21 after losing her three-year battle with ovarian cancer.
Emma Mincher from Droylsden, Great Manchester – who played for Blackburn Rovers – was diagnosed with the disease the day before her 18th birthday in March 2009.
Mrs Mincher, who defied experts by having two daughters despite being told she could not have children, had been given the all clear – but was told the cancer had returned late last year.
Tragedy: Emma Mincher -with her daughter Molly-Rae (left) and Lilly-Mae (right) – has lost her battle with ovarian cancer. She had defied experts who told her she would never have children
Talented: Mrs Mincher played as a winger for Blackburn Rovers women's team – making thirty appearances. Her former coach described her as a 'special talent'
Happy Times: Mrs Mincher celebrates Christmas with her husband Stefan (left) and their two daughters
After undergoing surgery to treat the cancer, she was old she would never have children – but Amazingly, in June 2010, Emma and long-term partner Stefan discovered she was pregnant – and their first child Lilly-Mae was born the following February.
Against all the odds, they had their second daughter Molly-Rae a year later. But tragically Emma was struck down again by the cancer shortly after Molly's birth – and she had to have further surgery and chemotherapy.
The couple married last July at Dukinfield Town Hall, followed by a reception at the Etihad Stadium, the home of their beloved Manchester City football club.
Married: Emma Mincher at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium with her husband Stefan on their wedding day
Emma received the all-clear again from doctors at The Christie Hospital in Manchester – but just weeks after the news their worst fears were realised when the cancer returned again in November.
Emma decided against further treatment because she wanted to enjoy the time she had left with her young family.
Special: Mrs Mincher's husband Stefan described her as an 'inspiration' to others
She defied a bleak prognosis to survive
her first Christmas with Molly-Rae, and even threw a joint birthday
party for her daughters on February 16.
She died four days later at Willow Wood Hospice in Ashton-under-Lyne.
Mr Mincher said: 'Emma was an inspiration to so many; a hero, a fighter who never gave up, or complained about her illness.
'She continued to beat the odds, out playing in the snow with the girls as recent as the end of January.
'Lilly is still asking for mummy – and that's heartbreaking – but we will make sure that Emma is never forgotten and that they know how much she loved them.'
Mrs Mincher, whose maiden name was McDougall, played for Fletcher Moss Rangers football clun and was studying at Manchester College before she signed for Blackburn Rovers in January 2008.
The winger made thirty first-team appearances, scoring five goals, but had to stop playing when she became ill.
Rovers Ladies manager Scott Rogers said: 'She was a special talent and it's a tragic shame that she has been taken from us too early.'