Heart-rending final photo of beauty queen, 25, who collapsed and died while working at Michael Owen's stables

30 March 2023, 08:01

Friends shared a heart-breaking final photo of Jessica Whalley
Friends shared a heart-breaking final photo of Jessica Whalley. Picture: Social media

By Kit Heren

This is the heart-breaking final image of a 25-year-old beauty queen who died suddenly and unexpectedly while working at a stables this week.

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Jessica Whalley died at the stables, which are owned by ex-Liverpool and England football star Michael Owen, on Tuesday.

Emergency services attended the scene at around 7.30am, but Ms Whalley was pronounced dead.

Mr Owen and his staff at the Manor House stables near Malpas in Cheshire were left in tears by her sudden death.

Police said the death is not being treated as suspicious and her next of kin have been informed.

Jessica Whalley collapsed and died yesterday
Jessica Whalley collapsed and died yesterday. Picture: Social media

The touching final photo was shared on social media and is thought to have been taken about 72 hours before Ms Whalley died.

Ms Whalley was transport manager at the stables but is also understood to have worked for Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE, who owns a large international network of thoroughbred stables.

Read more: Woman, 25, dies at Michael Owen's plush Cheshire stables while working a shift

Jessica Whalley
Jessica Whalley. Picture: Social media

One of her friends, Jessica Mair, posted on Facebook: "So sad seeing him [Michael Owen] and all his staff in tears today ... after such a shock to them ... such a young age, no health problems 25 is no age... life really is too short for we never really know how long we have... thoughts go out to her family and friends."

Ms Whalley, who has been named locally, was understood to have described herself as "travelling head person" at the stables.

In 2019, she represented the UK in the Miss Tourism Universe pageant, screened on MTV and held in Beirut, making it into the final 10 contestants.

The 25-year-old represented the UK in the Miss Tourism Universe pageant
The 25-year-old represented the UK in the Miss Tourism Universe pageant. Picture: Social media

Manor House stables confirmed the incident on Tuesday evening.

A statement read: "It is with deep sadness that we have to announce that a much-valued member of our team died at work this morning.

"The family have been informed and both the family and the team at Manor House request privacy at this time."

Responding to the news, one Twitter user said: "My condolences to family and all at MHS , thoughts with you all at this difficult time."

Trainers Fergal O'Brien and Graeme McPherson, said: "Thoughts with all involved."

A third person tweeted: "How tragic, condolences to you all and all who knew the team member, especially their family."

Mr Owen, 43, who played for Liverpool and Real Madrid during his football career and was capped 89 times for England, opened his stables in 2006.

His daughter, Love Island star Gemma Owen, is an international dressage champion but her horse, called Sirius Black, died suddenly in February 2023.