Eastenders star Gillian Taylforth’s ex-husband Geoff Knights has died after three-month battle with stomach cancer

The ex-husband of EastEnders actress Gillian Taylforth has died after a lengthy battle with stomach cancer, it has been reported.

Geoff Knights spent 23 years with the star who played Kathy Beale in the popular soap before the pair separated in 2009.

The 58-year-old who had two children with the actress during their time together is believed to have been diagnosed with stomach cancer three months ago after complaining of abdominal pain.

Tributes have appeared on Twitter with users expressing shock at his untimely death.

‘R.I.P Geoff Knights thoughts are with his family at this terrible time. So heartbreaking to hear’ wrote Laurel Gayler.

Another user who appears to have been close to the father-of-two wrote: ‘RIP Geoff knights never did I think I’d be saying this! My dads closest friend, love you forever mate xxxx’ while another added: ‘Really upset to hear my mate Geoff Knights died yesterday RIP.

In September, Knights from  was unable to attend a court case at St Albans Crown Court as he was in hospital for treatment after collapsing.

The couple’s troubled relationship made headlines across the UK for years.

Knights allegedly received a non-molestation order from a judge following his split from the actress in 2009.

Taylforth rose to fame as Kathy Beale in 1985, a role in which she stayed until 2000.

She appeared in ITV drama Footballers’ Wives for four years before taking on the role of Sergeant Nikki Wright in The Bill.

She currently plays Sandy Roscoe in Channel 4 soap, Hollyoaks.

Taylforth has participated in a number of reality television shows, such as Strictly Come Dancing in 2008, and Celebrity Big Brother in January this year.

hi-res images can be found on our website scopefeatures.com

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