Vinnie Jones has revealed he and his wife are battling skin cancer.

The 48-year-old star - whose partner Tanya is also fighting the disease - found a lump in February before it was removed and diagnosed as melanoma, and he has had two further operations since.

Speaking to The Sun on Sunday newspaper, he said: ''Cancer is a horrible word to hear. It frightens the life out of you.

''I've faced the biggest and ugliest lads on the football field and been in some nasty bar brawls. But this is my toughest and scariest opponent yet.''

The footballer-turned-actor has admitted his first thought when he was told the bad news was how long he had to live.

He added: ''First I found this little lump under my eye. I didn't know if it as a blackhead or a little wart.

''When the doctor said I had skin cancer, the first thing I thought was, 'How long have I got left?' A million and one things go through your head.

''They have cut out three bits so far and I'm constantly worried about where I could find it next. It's weighing very heavily on me all the time. It's really knocked me for six.''

Vinnie also discussed his wife's own battle with cancer, which she was diagnosed with as a side effect of drugs she has taken after having a heart transplant 26 years ago.

He explained: ''She has dealt with health issues every day since. They now think her skin cancer is a result of the drugs she's been taking since the heart transplant.

''When it comes to things like this, women are stronger. Suddenly I've gone from the one helping her to the one that needs support.

''I'm trying to take the world in a bit more and appreciate my family and friends.''