Ashley Cain has revealed he signed up to SAS: Who Dares Wins after going through a ‘traumatic’ time in his life when his baby daughter, Azaylia, died.
He sadly lost his daughter on April 24, 2021 when she was just eight months old after a courageous battle with acute myeloid leukemia.
The former Ex On The Beach star, 31, spoke candidly about Azaylia and how her death affected him and his life, and she is the reason he wants to succeed, both on the SAS course and in life.
Opening: Ashley Cain has revealed he signed up for SAS: Who Dares Wins after going through a ‘traumatic’ time in his life when his baby daughter Azaylia died
In the upcoming episode, the celebrities reveal their motivations behind joining the show and what ignited the fire in them to get them as far as they possibly can on the field.
Ashley explained: ‘I’ve always been like marmite. You either love me or you hate me. I prefer to let people know who I am and let them judge me and still be who I want to be. I’m here to find out about myself. I’m here to get something done. I am here for many reasons. I am in a bit of a transition period in my life.
‘I’m a family man. Always been a family man, that’s what I’m all about. I had a chance to start my own family and I had a beautiful little girl. Two months after my daughter was born, we found out she had a really aggressive form of leukemia.
‘She was incredible. She showed strength, she showed courage. She showed everything it takes for a person to move forward in this world. And then, unfortunately, she lost her life on April 24. She died in my arms and it’s a moment I’ll never forget.’
Honest: The former Ex On The Beach star, 31, spoke candidly about Azaylia and how her death affected him and his life, and she’s the reason he wants to succeed, both on the SAS course and in life
Tragic: He sadly lost his daughter on April 24, 2021 when she was just eight months old after a brave battle with acute myeloid leukemia
Ashley explained: She fought every day and she made the most of every day. And it’s a lesson I will take throughout my life.’
The former footballer said: ‘One thing I will remember is every single day my daughter fought this disease, she smiled every day. She fought every day and she made the most of every single day. And that is a lesson I will take throughout my life. She didn’t have the chance in life that I have, that we all have, and I certainly don’t want to waste mine. I want to make her proud. I want to show people that no matter what you go through in life, you can overcome anything.
‘The day my little girl was born was a moment I had been waiting for all my life. I couldn’t have been a happier and prouder father and then suddenly things changed. When they told us there was nothing more they could do, it completely devastated me.
‘All I wanted to know at the time was that if she goes, she will go in my arms and she will go peacefully. And at eight months old, she died in my and my partner’s arms. I think she had a peaceful transition to the other side.
‘When I’m backed into a corner, I take myself to the darkest times of my life when I fought alongside my daughter. After going through such trauma I have realized that even when your body wants to give up, your mind can push it past any limit that you thought you had before.’
Ashley is no longer with Azaylia’s mother Safiyya Vorajee, 34, but previously revealed they would always be connected because of their daughter.
Emotional: In the upcoming episode, the celebs reveal their motivations for taking part in the show and what ignited the fire in them to get them as far as they possibly can on the course
Maisie Smith also opened up about her motivation for taking part in the show: ‘I have no idea how people see me because I just assume you just take one look at me and think, “oh cocky little Essex girl” , which is true, but there’s a lot more to me that people don’t know. I was on Eastenders for 13 years, which is all I can remember. I think sometimes I’m more comfortable being Tiffany than being Maisie.
‘The good thing about being an actor is that I know how to look confident. In reality, I have no idea what I’m doing. I think that growing up around a lot of adults, I felt a little bit undermined.
I have struggled to speak and I have had, not a stutter but I could just go blank and the words wouldn’t come out and I think the more that happened the more people would just talk about me. And it affected me because I kept feeling like every time I tried to speak it was just useless and pointless, so I just didn’t want to. And it was a terrible feeling to know that I couldn’t find a single word and it was like I didn’t know any words.
‘I found it quite difficult and I just hated the person I was for a long time. The reason I worked so hard and pushed myself was because the one thing I can’t control is the thing I fear the most. And to be afraid to speak…it’s terrible. I would love to overcome these feelings of fear. I want to be this strong person that I try to be.’
Opening up: Maisie talks about the insecurities she masked by taking on fictional Eastenders character Tiffany and reveals how she struggles to get words out that aren’t part of a script
Jennifer Ellison spoke candidly about her past experiences that led her to sign up for the show: ‘People will think I’m crazy for doing this because I like to have a nice hot bath. I like getting my hair and nails done. I know I’m not the strongest. I am 38 years old and I am not superwoman.
‘But I want to work my bum off. … everything I do now is spurred on by my kids, so I want to make them proud and I want them to go to school and go, “my mom is a bad ass.” I want to show the real me – someone who is a team player. I will push myself to the limit, I know that. I’m not one to give up my armband easily. I will not.
‘If I fail I will be absolutely devastated, but I hope I leave this challenge with a new found respect for myself. I have been strong. I have been confident and I have achieved and nothing has ever stood in my way at any time. And I’m going back to that.’
Strong: Jennifer revealed she pushes herself to the limit so her sons will be proud of her and think she’s a superhero
In the upcoming episode, a team will be made or broken by its leader, and in this phase, head director Rudy Reyes puts ex-footballer Ashley Cain and actress Maisie Smith to the test.
In the first task, both teams must construct a zipline in the Jordanian coastal port of Aqaba and get all their equipment across a body of water without getting wet, before going head-to-head in one of the fiercest tasks on the course ; murder ball. They must work strategically using controlled aggression to gain control of a deck.
Finally, back in the blistering heat of the Jordanian desert, the two teams must figure out how to load and pull a 200kg sled full of gear up a narrow gorge. It is a test of tactics as well as grit and determination.
Not all recruits will make it through this brutal phase, as the weak must be killed before the final stages of selection.
Challenge: Not all recruits will make it through this brutal phase as the weak must be killed before the final stages of selection
The original SAS: Who Dares Wins sees civilians go through military training exercises to test their physical and mental strength, and the celebrity spin-off launched in 2019.
On Celebrity SAS, Ashley is joined by actresses Maisie Smith, 21, and Jennifer Ellison, 39; TV personality Calum Best, 41; Reality TV stars Pete Wicks, 33, and Ferne McCann, 32; Javelin Olympic gold medallist, Fatima Whitbread MBE, 61.
Former Love Island winner Amber Gill, 25, is also taking part; Influencer and brothers AJ and Curtis Pritchard, 27 and 26; Olympic Sprinter, Dwain Chambers, 44; Olympic gold medalist Jade Jones OBE, 29, professional boxer Shannon Courtenay, 29, and Paralympic high jumper Jonathan Broom-Edwards MBE, 34.
Tough: The original SAS: Who Dares Wins sees civilians go through military training exercises to test their physical and mental strength, and the celebrity spin-off launched in 2019