Tom Jones says late wife Linda was 'the whole package'
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Sir Tom Jones did not speak publicly about his family for a long while. In fact, in his early career, he was marketed as a single coal miner, meaning to the outside world, his family did not even exist. They were only young when they got together, but nevertheless, Sir Tom was protective of his bride-to-be.
As a young lad, Sir Tom Jones had eyes for one girl: Melinda ‘Linda’ Trenchard.
They met as children after Sir Tom had been through a bout of illness which kept him indoors for almost two years.
Sir Tom had tuberculosis and was isolated from the outside world, meaning he did not get to spend time with friends around his hometown.
However, when he was able, he quickly fell in love with Linda, saying he felt ‘physical heartache’ when he would watch her walk to school.
Sir Tom said: “I was thinking, ‘Where is she? What is she doing?’”
The first time he met her, according to a Radio 2 documentary, was playing marbles, though it was not the marbles he was looking at.
He said: “I remember her playing marbles and I thought, ‘’My God, what great legs she’s got.’
“And then she stood up and she was as pretty in the face as her legs were.”
From then, their love blossomed over schoolyard games, before it became real.
Sir Tom added: “We started playing kiss-chase. I felt different when I kissed her, and she felt the same way.
“We started dancing together when we were 15. She would look great.
“She was the best-looking girl around there and we got together. It was magic.”
Sir Tom also recalled kissing in a phonebox at the end of her street as teenagers.
Tom Jones expert Colin Macfarlane said Sir Tom was also very protective of his young love, making sure other lads in the town knew she had a boyfriend.
Despite the fact she was ‘always in the background’ everyone knew she was ‘Tommy’s girl.’
He said: “According to several people I’ve spoken to she was the most beautiful woman in Pontypridd.
“The most beautiful woman he’d ever seen and Tom landed the big catch there.
“Tom wouldn’t allow anyone to chat her up and he would get into a fight if anyone tried to chat up Linda Woodward.
“His pals would say, ‘Linda is Tommy’s girl,’ but of course when she got pregnant that became apparent.
“You had to be careful if you tried to chat up the most beautiful woman in Pontypridd, Tom Woodward’s girlfriend, you had to have a look… if Tom thought that somebody was chatting up his beautiful girlfriend he would react in a Teddy Boy fashion.”
Linda became pregnant by Sir Tom when she was 16, and the couple married at just 17-years-old.
By the time Sir Tom had become famous, their son Mark was nine-years-old.
In her later life, Lady Linda had battles with cancer and suffered from emphysema, caused by heavy smoking.
Sunday Times writer Bryan Appleyard also noted he thought Linda was ‘a touch agoraphobic’ and was ‘too nervous’ to attend many of Sir Tom’s concerts.
Lady Linda died of cancer on April 10, 2016.
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