Sarah Harding’s father John Hardman has spoken publicly about his daughter’s death for the first time.
The Girls Aloud singer died in September, aged 39, a year after she revealed that she had been diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.
What did her dad say?
Hardman, who is also a musician, had not spoken publicly following Harding’s death earlier this year.
According to reports, Hardman had been estranged from his daughter for nearly two decades, following his split from the Girls Aloud singer’s mother, Marie, in 2000.
Hardman posted a picture of his daughter on his Instagram account and wrote: “In memory of my beautiful daughter Sarah Harding (Hardman) this Christmas.
“I cherish the moments we had together before and during her illness. We all miss her greatly, and we thank her fans for their love and kindness, wishing them and their families a very happy Christmas.
“One can only try to stay safe in such difficult times. Best wishes. JH.”
On 17 November, the former members of Girl Aloud, Cheryl Cole, Nicola Roberts, Kimberley Walsh and Nadine Coyle, paid tribute to their bandmade on what would have been her 40th birthday.
Cole posted on Instagram a video which featured multiple clips of the girl group at live concerts, award ceremonies and chat talks.
She captioned the video: “Memories may be all we’re left with, but they’re enough to last a lifetime #Sarahs40th.”
Roberts posted a picture of herself and Harding, who is posing with her middle finger up. Roberts wrote: “I know you’re somewhere making trouble live one.
“Happy Earth birthday Sarah. Love, miss and thinking about you all the time.
“I feel your energy like you’re still here.
“Wish we could have ran riot around town like we used to for your big 4.0 today!
“Cause a supernova up there electric girl.”
When did she die?
Harding passed away on Sunday 5 November, a year on after she revealed that she had been diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.
Her death was announced by her mother, Marie, with a message which said: “It’s with deep heartbreak that today I’m sharing the news that my beautiful daughter Sarah has sadly passed away.
“Many of you will know of Sarah’s battle with cancer and that she fought so strongly from her diagnosis until her last day. She slipped away peacefully this morning.
“I’d like to thank everyone for their kind support over the past year.
“It meant the world to Sarah and it gave her great strength and comfort to know she was loved.
“I know she won’t want to be remembered for her fight against this terrible disease - she was a bright shining star and I hope that’s how she can be remembered instead.”
Prior to her death, Harding revealed in her memoir, titled Hear Me Out, that she was told by a doctor that she would probably not be alive next Christmas.
She wrote: “In December my doctor told me that the upcoming Christmas would probably be my last.
“I don’t want an exact prognosis. I don’t know why anyone would want that.
“Comfort and being as pain-free as possible is what’s important to me now.”
Harding added that she was “trying to live and enjoy every second of my life, however long it might be”.
She continued: “I am having a glass of wine or two during all this, because it helps me relax,” she added.
“I’m sure some people might think that’s not a great idea, but I want to try to enjoy myself.
“I’m at a stage now where I don’t know how many months I have left.
“Who knows, maybe I’ll surprise everyone, but that’s how I’m looking at things.”
Harding said publicly that revealing her diagnosis was “scary” but that the decision was also “the right thing to do”.
She said the support she has received has been “incredible”, and added: “I’ve been inundated with lovely messages from my fans. I’m grateful beyond words for that.”
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