Joey Essex says his heart "secretly aches every day" for his late mum.

Joey Essex

Joey Essex

The 30-year-old reality star marked his late mother's birthday with an emotional tribute to Tina, who took her own life 20 years ago following a battle with depression.

Sharing a snap of him alongside his mum and sister, Frankie Essex, he wrote: "Another day to wish you happy birthday in heaven. My heart secretly aches everyday and I try my best to keep putting on this front to the world but I'm not scared or afraid anymore to say I'm heartbroken and I always will be.

"I'll miss you forever. Hurts to know deep down you was sad inside and you was smiling for us always. One day I'll be with you again and then we can smile together. No more secrets for us both. I love you mum (sic)"

Frankie, 33, commented on the photo: "Love you so much"

Their cousin, 'TOWIE' star Chloe Sims,  added three broken heart emojis.

Joey's big sister also posted her own tribute to her mum, sharing a series of snaps, including one of her mother candidly smiling at the camera and another photo of her parent holding her.

She wrote: "Happy Birthday Mummy I miss you I will miss you forever i promised I'll look after Joey as much as I could and I still try to make you proud everyday.

"I know your with us in spirit it hurts so much to write this wishing I could just hold you in my arms and tell you I love you to your face (sic)"

Joey previously opened up on the effects of his mum's death and how he found "blocking" out the thoughts was easier for him to cope.

He said: "I don’t usually like talking about my mum because whenever I do it makes me cry. Blocking it off just seems easier.”

tagged in