Strictly judge Shirley Ballas pays heartbreaking tribute to late brother David

The Strictly judge's brother died in 2003

Sharnaz Shahid

Shirley Ballas has paid a heartbreaking tribute to her late brother David, on what would have been his 60th birthday. Taking to her Instagram page on Tuesday to share a series of throwback snaps, the Strictly Come Dancing judge wrote: "Dear David today 5th Feb 2019 you would have been the big 60. There is not a day that goes by in my life without you coming to my mind. The best brother I could have wished for. Protective, caring and kind of your family. We for sure came first."


A post shared by Shirley Ballas (@shirleyballas) on

The TV star's brother David took his own life in December 2003, aged just 44. Highlighting the importance of raising mental health awareness, Shirley added: "I wish I could turn the clock back in time and be more aware of mental health and the fact that we all need to share more how we feel." She continued: "For the years I had with you I am so grateful - the fun memories - the fact I always felt so safe with you in my life. As we make are way through this short life with all its twists and turns I will hold you close in my heart so you are always on this journey with me."

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"Seems like yesterday I had my last cuddle with you but I feel you closer than ever. RIP David I love you," she concluded. Shirley, 58, has previously opened up about the guilt she felt following David's death. "There's just so much guilt," she told You Magazine, adding: "That I didn't know enough about mental health at that stage to grasp the extent of how sick he was. That I didn't spend enough time with him." After David’s death, Shirley took in his daughter Mary, and raised her as her own. "Her mother died of alcoholism a few years after her father so she really had it tough," she added. "At first she kept picking the wrong men but now she's got the most wonderful partner. She's a forensic scientist for the NHS - I couldn't be prouder of her."

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