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Tom Jones recalls a heartbreaking childhood moment involving his late wife Linda

Music icon Tom Jones has lived a fascinating life

Sir Tom Jones in 2016, making his first public appearance since the death of his wife Lady Melinda Rose
Francesca Shillcock
Francesca ShillcockSenior TV & Film Writer
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Sir Tom Jones appears each week on our screens as a brilliant judge on The Voice, but the legendary singer has had a fascinating and often complicated life.

MORE: Inside Tom Jones' 59-year marriage to wife Linda

The 82-year-old has occasionally spoken candidly about the trials and tribulations he's faced in his career and personal life, and he previously shared a heartbreaking memory from his childhood.

WATCH: Tom Jones moves Alex Jones to tears

Writing in his 2015 autobiography, Over the Top and Back, Tom explained that he was isolated in his home at 12 years old for two years after coming down with tuberculosis. At the time, he would witness his friends from his bedroom window passing him by, including Linda Trenchard, a girl Tom had a crush on and would later marry.

tom jones and linda© Photo: Getty Images
Tom Jones married his wife Linda in 1957

"Sometimes she smiled up at me, and I liked that, though it ­frustrated the hell out of me, too," he wrote, adding: "Forcefully separated from her, my crush on this girl that I barely knew only deepened, became a constant ache."

MORE: Tom Jones reveals what late wife Linda really thought of The Voice

MORE: Tom Jones: The Voice judge's controversial love life and children revealed

His book was not the only time Tom opened up about the sad time in his life. More recently, during the coronavirus pandemic, the singer spoke out about how being in quarantine in 2020 reminded him of his childhood illness.

tom jones marriage timeline© Getty Images
Tom and Linda were together until her death in 2016

"I learned a lesson there, not to take health for granted. I knew I was going to get well, but it was hard. I used to look outside and see the other kids playing and I couldn’t go out there.

"I always thought to myself, 'Once I am well, I’ll never complain about anything again.' Any time anything gets tough, I always think of that."

tom jones the voice© Photo: Getty Images
Sir Tom Jones on The Voice

In 1957, at 17 years old and a few years after isolation, Tom married his childhood sweetheart, Linda. The couple had a happy life together in a £6.5million mansion in Los Angeles, but tragically Linda passed away in 2016 to a "short but fierce" battle with cancer.

sir tom jones on stage in 1978© Harry Langdon
The Voice star Sir Tom, seen in 1978, has been global icon for decades

Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, the musician said: "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."

Following her sad passing, Tom moved out of their £6.5million mansion in LA and returned to the UK where he bought a flat in London

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