Sarah Harding's father John Hardman speaks out for first time since daughter's passing 1

Sarah Harding’s father John Hardman speaks out for first time since daughter’s passing

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Sarah Harding’s father has spoken publicly for the first time since her death, suggesting they had reconciled before she passed away from breast cancer aged 39 in September.

John Hardman shared a photo of his daughter to his Instagram account and said he cherished the moments they had together both before and during her illness.

Sarah and her father, who was a member of 1970s band Sunfighter, were estranged for two decades after he and her mother Marie split up in 2000.

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Sarah Harding's father John Hardman speaks out for first time since daughter's passing 2

Tribute: Sarah Harding's father has spoken publicly for the first time since her death, suggesting they had reconciled before she passed away from cancer

Tribute: Sarah Harding’s father has spoken publicly for the first time since her death, suggesting they had reconciled before she passed away from cancer

John 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. 

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‘One can only try to stay safe in such difficult times . Best wishes. JH… ❤️’

John previously told how he tried to reconnect with Sarah several times after his split from her mother, including after she found fame with Girls Aloud in 2003.

Message: John Hardman shared a photo of his daughter to his Instagram account and said he cherished the moments they had together both before and during her illness

Message: John Hardman shared a photo of his daughter to his Instagram account and said he cherished the moments they had together both before and during her illness

Relationship: Sarah and her father, who was a member of 1970s band Sunfighter, were estranged for two decades after he and her mother Marie split up in 2000

Relationship: Sarah and her father, who was a member of 1970s band Sunfighter, were estranged for two decades after he and her mother Marie split up in 2000 

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He also said that he phoned her manager in 2012 but claimed she never called him back.

Speaking previously to the Mail On Sunday, he said: ‘I’ve tried so many times to make contact, even before she became famous.

‘I’ve written, emailed, telephoned, asked others to intercede on my behalf and still she refuses to see me.

‘I once turned up at her London home only to be turned away by her boyfriend and management people.’

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John wrote: 'In memory of my beautiful daughter Sarah Harding (Hardman) this Christmas. I cherish the moments we had together before and during her illness' (pictured in 2011)

John wrote: ‘In memory of my beautiful daughter Sarah Harding (Hardman) this Christmas. I cherish the moments we had together before and during her illness’ (pictured in 2011)

Sarah spoke positively of her father in her autobiography Hear Me Out, writing: ‘My dad John was hugely into music. A talented musician in his own right, he played lead guitar, piano and bass, and he sang too.

‘I vividly remember the photo of him and his guitar which was on display at my granny’s house.

‘Dad has been in quite a few bands over the years and one of the things we have in common is that we’ve both performed at The Royal Variety Performance and met the Queen. How cool is that?’

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It marked a change of heart for the star who told reporters back in 2011 that she had no relationship with her dad since he left her mother for another woman. 

History: John previously told how he tried to reconnect with Sarah several times after his split from her mother, including after she found fame with Girls Aloud in 2003 (pictured with Kimberley Walsh, Nicola Roberts, Cheryl and Nadine Coyle in 2003)

History: John previously told how he tried to reconnect with Sarah several times after his split from her mother, including after she found fame with Girls Aloud in 2003 (pictured with Kimberley Walsh, Nicola Roberts, Cheryl and Nadine Coyle in 2003)

She said at the time: ‘My father is dead to me – I can’t forgive him. After he and my mother divorced, he wasn’t a very nice person, and what’s done is done.’

‘Looking back, I think the split was more destructive and destabilising than I realised, because I started bunking off school and getting into trouble.’

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Sarah passed away on September 5 aged 39 from breast cancer. She initially revealed she had the disease in August 2020. 

Sarah’s death was confirmed on September 5 by her mother Maria in a statement shared to the star’s Instagram account.

Tragic: Sarah passed away on September 5 aged 39 from breast cancer. She first revealed she had the disease in August 2020 (pictured with Girls Aloud in 2013)

Tragic: Sarah passed away on September 5 aged 39 from breast cancer. She first revealed she had the disease in August 2020 (pictured with Girls Aloud in 2013)

She wrote: ‘It’s with deep heartbreak that today I’m sharing the news that my beautiful daughter Sarah has sadly passed away.

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‘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. Marie x’.

If you have been affected by this story, call Macmillan Cancer Support on 0808 808 00 00.

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Beloved: Sarah's death was confirmed on September 5 by her mother Maria in a statement shared to the star's Instagram account (pictured in 2018)

Beloved: Sarah’s death was confirmed on September 5 by her mother Maria in a statement shared to the star’s Instagram account (pictured in 2018)

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