While Many Celebrities Rarely Interact With Fans Privately
I grew up as a massive fan of Girls Aloud. From seeing them on Popstars: The Rivals, to watching their final concert together in 2013, my life was pretty much pop music.
I’d followed their career since 2002 and made so many friends through these five women who I had only ever seen on screen or on a stage.
Now, aged 26, I’m still a huge fan of Girls Aloud, probably more so after a drink or two on a night out but thanks to them, I’ve created lasting memories that I will cherish.
Sadly, Sarah Harding died this Sunday aged just 39, something I sort of expected but also didn’t want to believe would happen.
I first met Sarah in 2013, several months after Girls Aloud had split up during the summer holidays while she was working in Manchester.
To Sarah, I was “Ginge” and “cheeki face”, nicknames she called me by, never Daniel, just Ginge. Most of my signed memorabilia is “2 Ginge,” which still makes me laugh after all these years.
Nicknamed Hardcore Harding, she truly kept to that and was always busy, whether it was working on music or her former fashion brand, YogiSnap.
Sarah probably didn’t class me as a friend but to me, she was one, I could turn to her when I needed advice or just something to cheer me up.
One year, a group of us organised to send her a birthday present, a pair of Alexander McQueen sunglasses and 100 bags of Skittles as she’d told us she loved them.
Most artists probably wouldn’t acknowledge this but Sarah sent me a string of messages and was beyond grateful that a few of us had chipped in and gone out of our way without her knowing.
This was the real Sarah, somebody who was happy, grounded and never let her fame change her, she was still the bubbly girl from Manchester A Dangerous Funny despite the fact she was a member of Girls Aloud.
One thing I loved the most about her when I first met Sarah she knew I was turning 18 in a few weeks and told me she would try and be at my party.
She took all the relevant information from me, the venue, date, time… However, she ended up having work commitments and Skyped me to apologise, something she didn’t have to do, but she did.
Despite not seeing her in several years, we remained in contact, sharing the odd message or seeing “sarahnicoleharding liked your post” on Instagram, mainly of my dogs because she loved them so much.
Last year, I was rocked when I read her post and hearing she had been diagnosed with breast cancer – not just breast cancer, cancer that had spread throughout her body.
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