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."
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."
"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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