The Voice: Tom Jones jokes about Olly Murs’ accent
The Welsh singer tied the knot with his childhood sweetheart Melinda Woodward, known as Lady Linda, when they were 16 years old. They had son Mark around a month later and Linda raised him, while Sir Tom was away on tour. Their marriage weathered the strain of countless affairs from the star – including the claim that he slept with up to 250 women-a-year at the height of his fame.
Despite cheating on his wife with scores of women, Sir Tom always maintained that Linda was his soulmate.
From the day they met at school in Treforest, Pontypridd, he claimed to have known she was the one for him.
Sir Tom described her as “the most important thing in my life” and an “unbelievable woman” in a 2006 Daily Mail article.
But a decade later, Linda died after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, at the age of 75.
Her death was roughly one-year before Sir Tom and Linda would have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
Tom Jones and wife Linda were married for 59 years before she died in 2016
Tom Jones and wife Linda met at school in Treforest, Pontypridd, in Wales
Sir Tom admitted that he struggled to accept that his wife was gone during an interview with the Daily Mirror in 2019.
He blamed himself for her death and wished he had “forced her” to see doctors sooner than she did.
Thankfully, Sir Tom eventually recognised that there was nothing he could have done to prevent her death.
He said: “The reality is I couldn’t really have done anything.”
Sir Tom explained that “it was too late” when doctors discovered she had cancer.
Tom Jones and Linda married at 16 years old and had son, Mark, one month later
He added: “So there’s not a lot you can do.”
In 2017, Sir Tom admitted that he was unable to sleep at times and doubted whether he would survive his heartache.
He told the Sunday Mirror: “When my wife passed away – God bless her – I didn’t know whether I would make it.
“There were days when I felt I couldn’t get up, you don’t want to get out of bed to start with.”
Sir Tom sought counselling and was told he wouldn’t make it if he didn’t try to return to his normal life.
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He recalled: “She said to me, ‘You have got to carry on – if you don’t, you will die’.
“I thought of my family, my son, my daughter and my grandchildren. All of that.”
Sir Tom revealed that he was “haunted” by Linda’s favourite song – Bob Dylan’s 1989 song What Good Am I?
When he listened to the track again, there were some lyrics that stood out and he wondered: “Was I partly to blame?
“Should I have woken up before? You start to think, ‘What if I had forced her to go to the doctors?’ Because she didn’t go.
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“The song is – ‘What good am I if I’m like all the rest? If I don’t just turn away when I see how you’re dressed’.
“It’s like, why couldn’t I have stopped it?”
Eventually, Sir Tom learned to accept that Linda was no longer around and remarked: “Time is a healer.”
He admitted he was “more realistic” now and said: “Things sink in and you realise, ‘This is it, this is the way it’s going to be.’”
In Sir Tom’s autobiography, Over The Top And Back, which came out in 2015, he cast doubt on any speculation about a future romance.He wrote:
“I have never had that feeling for anyone else. I don’t think you can fall in love more than once.”When asked outright whether he would date again in 2019, Sir Tom said: “No, I don’t think so.”
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His remarks about Linda followed numerous reports about extramarital affairs – including with Miss World Marjorie Wallace – when he was an international star.
When quizzed about the damage it caused to his relationship, Sir Tom said: “I never hurt anybody.
“It never backfired on me and my marriage is solid.”
When asked whether he regretted being “serially unfaithful”, Sir Tom said “naw” and then reiterated his love for Linda.
He added: “She’s the most important thing in my life. All the rest is fun and games.”