Tom Jones ‘ached’ for future wife from afar while struck down with TB aged just 12

Tom Jones recalls meeting his wife

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Sir Tom Jones, 81, was diagnosed with tuberculosis when he was 12 and spent two years indoors while other school children were able to play outside including his future wife Linda Trenchard. The Sex Bomb hitmaker admitted he felt “heartache” as he could see his late spouse going up the hills with other pals and playing without him.

I remember feeling an ache in my chest

Tom Jones

Tom suffered from tuberculosis from 1952 to 1954, just after he had fallen in “love” with classmate Linda.

However, due to his ill-health, the singer was forced to remain away from his childhood sweetheart, which made him feel an ache in his chest.

Opening up on how he knew Linda was the one, Tom said: “For two years from 52 to 54 I was bedridden. And I could see my wife outside, going up the hills with kids playing because all of the kids were all around and I’m like, ‘Oh my God’.

“And I remember feeling an ache in my chest. You know what they say about heartache? Well, I felt heartache, honestly when I was 12 and then when I was 13 of course. 

“Especially from 13 to 14 when I did get out of the house I was then moving around a bit and I could see her through the window going up the side of the thing.

“But a friend of mine used to keep a check on her because he knew I liked her. So I said, ‘Keep an eye on Linda and make sure that she’s OK’.”

Once Tom recovered and he was able to play kiss chase with the other kids, plucking up the courage to kiss Linda when he realised there was “something different” about her.

He continued: “I remember when I had TB and I was aching for this girl… I knew there was something about this girl,” he added while speaking on Jessie Ware’s Table Manners podcast.

Sir Tom has also opened up on his latest album, Surrounded By Time, which is the first musical offering from the rockstar since his beloved wife and mother of his son, Mark Woodward, died in 2016.

The popstar shared how he was used to having his spouse of 59 years around to give him her opinion on his music, as he acknowledged her criticism was usually “always right”.

Opening up on making music without Linda’s approval, Tom said: “It’s the first album that I’ve done where she hasn’t been able to tell me whether she likes it or not. 

“You see we grew up together, she was a fan of mine at school and in the pubs and clubs. 

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“So she knows me, or knew me better than anybody else. 

“So when I would do something, she would say, ‘Who are you aiming at with that? What are you doing with that? It doesn’t sound like you. I don’t hear you in it’. 

“She was always right,” he added while speaking on Today FM with Feral D’Arcy.

The 81-year-old trusted Linda’s opinion above all others, as he sometimes even questioned his own intuition when it came to making hits.

He continued: “She was right, so I use to play things to her and say, ‘Am I coming through here? Am I loud and clear? Am I being honest?’

“She would say, ‘I love that, or I don’t know why you’re doing that one’. You know like that. 

“But I think she would love this album, I really do because I think I sound like me. You have got to be yourself.”

The Voice UK coach explained the loss of his spouse was “the lowest part” of his life and had left him wondering if he had “done enough” to try saving her. 

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