Tom Jones on the importance of his song for his late wife
The Welsh singer, 80, was 16 years old when he married Melinda Rose Trenchard, known as Lady Linda. They met at school, in Pontypridd, and tied the knot months before she gave before to their son Mark Woodward, now 63. Sir Tom, who appears on The Voice tonight, was married to Linda for 59 years before she died from lung cancer five years ago.
The ITV star has often proclaimed his wife was “the only woman he loved” but his womanising has been well-publicised over the decades.
Sir Tom admitted there was a surge in female attention after his first number one hit It’s Not Unusual and subsequent performances in the US.
At the height of his fame, he admitted to having slept with up to 250 women a year in a 2012 Telegraph article and even dubbed a backstage area “the workbench”.
Throughout the years, Sir Tom denied his affairs impacted anyone – stating that he “never hurt anybody” and it was all “fun and games”.
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Tom Jones was married to Melinda Rose Trenchard, known as Lady Linda, for 59 years
Tom Jones met Linda, then Melinda Rose Trenchard, at school in Pontypridd, Wales
In 2015, he told the Sunday Times that his “marriage was solid” and it “never backfired” on him.
Despite his claim, journalist Bryan Appleyard claimed the singer “made it clear” Linda had “let herself go”.
He also reported Sir Tom commenting that she had “lost her spark” and refused to allow hairdressers over to their £6.5million Los Angeles mansion.
The remarks led to speculation about Linda’s wellbeing and how her husband’s countless affairs affected her.
Sir Tom’s former bandmate Vernon Hopkins, from The Squires, told Express.co.uk that she could have “believed it was all her fault that Tom strayed”.
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Tom Jones found fame in 1965 after his first number one It’s Not Unusual – and stars on The Voice
He told Express.co.uk: “She became recluse, smoking and drinking excessively, she lost her spark, let herself go and lost her good looks, according to Tom.
“Nothing to do with how she was treated of course, as far as he was concerned it was all just fun and games, as he so eloquently put it.”
Mr Hopkins claimed Linda was “damaged the most by” Sir Tom’s actions.
In the 2002 documentary, The Real… Tom Jones, the show claimed Linda “rarely left their luxury home” as her husband’s affairs seeped out into the press.
Tom Jones claimed Linda ‘lost her spark’ later on in their 59-year marriage
Chris Hutchins, Sir Tom’s former publicist, recalled going to check-in on the singer’s wife one day to discover a “terribly, terribly sad” sight.
He said: “It was mid-morning and she was in this huge house on St George’s Hill (in London), a mansion, and she did all the cleaning herself.
“She was dancing to one of Tom’s CDs with a duster in one hand and a bottle of Dom Pérignon in the other.
“She was swigging it from the neck and, in many ways, this was amusing – in other ways, it was terribly, terribly sad.”
Linda’s friend Jo Mills, the former wife of Sir Tom’s manager Gordon Mills, revealed the singer’s affairs took a toll.
Tom Jones with Vernon Hopkins – part of The Squires, who launched the singer’s career
Ms Mills said: “She just became a recluse that’s how she coped with it physically.
“But she just went more and more into her own little shell and it was not good for her.
“[It was] not good for anyone but that’s what she did with her life.”
Later in the documentary, Ms Mills gave another insight into Linda’s life.
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She said: “The strange thing was when Tom would come home off a tour.
“When he was there, she said, ‘When he’s there, he’s mine’ and Tom was, he was a lovely husband when he was there.”
After Linda died from lung cancer in 2016, Sir Tom questioned his actions and whether he could have saved her.
He thought about if he “should have woken up before” and “forced her to go to the doctors”.
Vernon Hopkins published a book that details his and Tom Jones’ rise to fame in The Squires
Sir Tom recalled torturing himself with thoughts about whether he “could have stopped it”, in a 2019 Daily Mirror article.
Fortunately, over time, he realised: “The reality is I couldn’t really have done anything.”
Sir Tom accepted that it “was too late” by the time they discovered she had cancer and there was “not a lot you can do”.
As time passed, he began to feel “healed” and became “more realistic” about the future.
Tom Jones recently performed I’m Growing Old for BBC Music with Jools Holland – available on iPlayer
Sir Tom said: “Things sink in and you realise, ‘This is it! This is the way it’s going to be.’”
In his 2015 autobiography, Over The Top And Back, the singer professed his love for Linda and said he “never had that feeling for anyone else”.
Sir Tom ruled out notions of a future romance when he added: “I don’t think you can fall in love more than once.”
Sir Tom Jones stars on The Voice, which airs at 8.30pm tonight on ITV.
Vernon Hopkins’ memoir Just Help Yourself: Tom Jones, The Squires And The Road To Stardom was published in 2012 by Seren. You can buy the book here and listen to it in audiobook format later this year.