Widower, 33, who found love six months after wife’s death splits up

Widower, 33, who angered his childhood sweetheart’s family when he found love within months of losing her to cancer ‘splits from lookalike new girlfriend’ after whirlwind romance

  • Jake Coates, 33, married his childhood sweetheart Emmy in September 2016
  • She was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and she died less than year later in 2017
  • He found love just six months after with Jenna Elsby but couple have ‘split up’  

A widower who angered his childhood sweetheart’s family after finding love with a lookalike girlfriend just months after her death from cancer has split from his new partner.

Jake Coates, 33, and late wife Emmy Collett became national darlings after their love story helped raise £140,000 for charity.

They married in 2016 but months later she lost her battle with thyroid cancer and Mrs Collett died in June 2017.

Mr Coates then sparked anger from her family by starting a relationship with events planner Jenna Elsby just six months later, with Emmy’s sister Sophie Collett claiming her late sibling would have been ‘devastated’.

Jake Coates has split with girlfriend Jenna Elsby (pictured together last year) whom he met months after the death of wife Emmy Collett from cancer, a relationship which prompted an angry reaction from her family

Ms Collett, pictured with Mr Coates before her death, died in June 2017 following a battle with thyroid cancer and the couple earned national acclaim by raising £140,000 for charity 

After the announcement of his new relationship, Ms Collett’s sister Sophie said her late sibling would be ‘devastated’ at how quickly he moved on

Sophie, pictured with Emmy, asked Mr Coates not to comment on what her sister ‘would have wanted’ again after he shared loved up photos of his new partner on Instagram

The couple moved into a home in upmarket village Hersham in Surrey, but are now believed to have split up and moved out.

According to The Sun, Mr Coates, son of multi-millionaire businessman Derek Coates, has moved back to the family home in Monmouth.

His mother Jane Crockford, 60, told the Sun: ‘Poor Jake was crucified by people when Emmy died, he was crucified when he remarried and now he’s being crucified again.

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‘The attention of late has forced him to come off social media.’

Last August Mr Coates dismissed criticism of his new relationship and said his late wife ‘wanted him to be happy’.

The artist said that he also felt ‘let down’ by Emmy’s family.

Mr Coates and Ms Collett, pictured on their wedding day in 2016, first met aged 11 but broke up at university. They reunited 10 years later and had a long distance relationship while he worked as a doctor in Australia and she was a teacher in London

It is understood Ms Elsby, pictured, and Mr Coates have moved out of the property they were living at in the upmarket village Hersham in Surrey

He continued: ‘I will never personally say anything against Emmy’s family but I did feel let down.

‘I think if I had come out and said I had a girlfriend then, now or even a year from now, it would have been a hard pill for some people to swallow.’  

Mr Coates revealed his new relationship via Instagram in February where he described Ms Elsby, who shares the same brown hair and green eyes as his late wife and bears an uncanny resemblance to Emmy as his ‘gorgeous little ragamuffin’, but the post provoked a mixed reaction from followers.

Some insisted they were delighted to see him find happiness again, but one person on social media who said that Emmy would ‘want him to be happy’ prompted a heated response from her sister.

Sophie Collett replied that she was ‘at a loss for words at the insensitivity of it’.

‘I can assure you this would break her heart and leave her devastated as it has for so many of us,’ she said.

Before Mr Coates and his late wife married, they used to speak to each other on FaceTime every day and travelled back and forth across the world to maintain their relationship.

But within six months of them getting back together, the couple received the devastating news weeks after a holiday to the Philippines.

Ms Collett, from Luckington, Wiltshire, who had been plagued with symptoms such as diarrhoea, tiredness and enlarged lymph nodes, was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer.

He immediately flew back to the UK to be by her side and proposed just weeks later.

Mr Coates, pictured with his late wife in hospital, previously said he felt ‘let down’ by the criticism by Emmy’s family and said she would have ‘wanted him to be happy’

The couple were both keen cyclists and even included bikes in their wedding, pictured

Just as the pair were due to go on holiday, Ms Collett was told cancer had already spread to her spine, lungs, liver and bones – and she could never give birth.

She was taken to the Royal Marsden Hospital and was told she could have made a full recovery if the disease had been diagnosed earlier.

Speaking to MailOnline in 2016, Ms Collett said: ‘My ‘school girl crush’ on Jake started almost 20 years ago when we were just 11 years old.

‘We quickly became ‘childhood sweethearts’ and at 13 he told me that I was ‘his lobster’.

‘When we were 16 we finally sought the courage to fully admit our feelings for each other and we dated for three years.

‘Although at university we went our separate ways, we remained close, but it took until October last year, after 10 long years, to rekindle our romance.’

In a tribute to his wife after her death in June 2017, Mr Coates wrote on social media: ‘There isn’t a moment that passes when I don’t miss her.

‘She was my north, my south, my east, my west. The reason I wanted to wake up every morning and be a better person.

‘My co-captain on my bike. My best friend. My lobster. My wife. And truly my hero.’ 

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