Sarah Harding's heartbroken father speaks for first time since Girls Aloud star's tragic death

SARAH Harding’s dad has spoken for the first time since her death and hinted that they finally reconciled as she battled cancer.

John Hardman, estranged from the Girls Aloud star for two decades, said he cherished the moments they spent together.

Sarah, 39, died in September but had cut off her father in 2000 after he split from her mum Marie.

Underneath an image of the singer on Instagram, John wrote: “In memory of my beautiful daughter Sarah Harding (Hardman) this Christmas.

“I cherish the moments we had together before and during her illness.

“We all miss her greatly, and we thank her fans for their love and kindness, wishing them and their families a very happy Christmas.

“One can only try to stay safe in such difficult times.”

John, who was in 1970s band Sunfighter, had tried to reconcile with Sarah several times as she hit the big time with bandmates Cheryl Tweedy, Kimberley Walsh, Nadine Coyle and Nicola Roberts.

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He phoned her manager in 2012 but claimed she never returned the call.

In 2009 he said: “I’ve tried so many times to make contact, even before she became famous.

“I’ve written, emailed, telephoned, asked others to intercede on my behalf and still she refuses to see me. I once turned up at her London home only to be turned away by her boyfriend and management people.”

Sarah did not speak about her relationship with her father after being diagnosed with cancer in summer 2020.

But she spoke positively about him in autobiography Hear Me Out this March.

She wrote: “My dad John was hugely into music. A talented musician in his own right, he played lead guitar, piano and bass, and he sang too.

“I vividly remember the photo of him and his guitar which was on display at my granny’s house.

“Dad has been in quite a few bands over the years and one of the things we have in common is that we’ve both performed at The Royal Variety Performance and met the Queen. How cool is that?”

The news that they made up towards the end of her life is in contrast to a decade earlier.

She changed her surname, and in 2011, she said her father was “dead to me” because of his decision to leave her mum for a younger woman.

She said his behaviour was destabilising and led to her bunking off school and getting into trouble.

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