By Josh Brady
Meet the die-hard Tom Jones fan who stole the show when she saw the Welsh singer perform for the seventh time – at the age of 89.
Sheila Sugden, who sleeps with a cut out of the ‘Delilah’ singer in her bedroom, was left stunned after her grandaughter, Lori Walker, got her a ticket to the concert. And the superfan became the real star at the gig last week when she went armed with a sign reading: “I’m 89 and still your No. 1 fan! Love you Tom.”
The grandmother, who has 11 grandkids, first began bopping to Tom Jones‘s music in 1965 after he stormed the charts with his first hit single ‘It’s Not Unusual’. And Walker, 25, said Sugden had an “absolutely blast” at her most recent concert after a group of ladies got her to the front of the stage – despite coming in a wheelchair. Walker said Sugden’s face was full of “pure joy as the 82-year-old pop singer began belting out her favorite tracks – including ‘Green Green Grass of Home’.”
“I’ve never seen anyone’s face with so much pure joy. It was absolutely beautiful. She had an absolute blast,” Walker said. “I couldn’t even look at Tom Jones, I was looking at my nan the whole way through, but she loved ‘Green Grass’, ‘Sex bomb’ and ‘Pussy Cat’””
Walker said other concertgoers wanted to take photos with her grandmother and her cheeky sign.
“Everyone there was looking at the sign, and just kept on saying, ‘Can we take a picture of you and your nan? That’s amazing’,” Walker said.“It was just really, really beautiful. It was a phenomenal night, and my nan had an amazing time,”
Sugden thanked her granddaughter for getting her to the concert and said seeing Jones perform again was “a dream come true”.
Jones was born in South Wales in 1940 to a father who worked in the coal mines. After dropping out of school to pursue music, Jones rose to stardom in the mid 1960s with a series of top-ten pop hits. As Jones’s style evolved to include blues and R&B, the performer became friends with other stars of the time, including Elvis Presley and Janis Joplin. Jones went on to dabble in television, hosting a television variety show in the early 1980s that featured other singers such as Chaka Khan and Donny Osmond, and appearing as a judge on “The Voice UK”, a singing competition television show.
Jones was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2005. The pop icon has appeared dozens of times in Las Vegas and still tours regularly.
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