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Golden anniversary for Tom Jones
Tom Jones and family Pic: Western Mail & Echo
Linda and Tom with their son Mark, who is now his manager
Sir Tom Jones may have been thrilling his female fans on stage for more than 40 years, but through it all he has stayed married to one woman.

Now the 66-year-old Welsh singer is celebrating his golden wedding with his childhood sweetheart Linda.

The star wed Melinda Trenchard - as she was then - on 2 March, 1957, at Pontypridd register office.

Biographer Robin Eggar believes Linda keeps her husband grounded and reminds him of his roots.

If she wants him to go shopping for bathroom tiles, he does. She cut herself off from Tom Jones the superstar about 40 years ago
Biographer Robin Eggar on Sir Tom's wife, Linda

In a showbusiness world marked by multiple divorce, they have achieved a rare milestone.

Sir Tom, born Thomas Woodward in Treforest, Pontypridd, was a teenager working in a paper mill when he tied the knot with local girl Linda. Just over a month later, their son Mark was born.

In 1965, he scored his first hit with It's Not Unusual and has enjoyed a career spanning five decades. He has also been awarded an OBE and, last March, a knighthood.

Mr Eggar, who wrote Tom Jones: The Biography and has met the singer frequently, said Sir Tom kept his superstar persona separate from who he is at home with his wife.

He said: "When he's at home he's Tommy Woodward.

Tom Jones
It was strained a few times, you know, because of show business. But she... I never wanted to leave my wife, and she never wanted to leave me
Sir Tom Jones

"If she wants him to go shopping for bathroom tiles, he does. She cut herself off from Tom Jones the superstar about 40 years ago."

Linda, who has always stayed out of the limelight, stopped watching her husband perform on stage early in his career, said Mr Eggar.

Asked what had kept the couple together so long, he said "absence".

He said she was born in an era when you "put up with your husband for better or for worse".

He said: "Linda has never wanted to be with anybody else. She has time to be by herself, she spends time with her family and she's comfortably off."

Tom, who staged a homecoming concert in Pontypridd to mark his 65th birthday, would be devastated if he did not have her, said Mr Eggar.

"It's a total haven for him. He's no longer Tom Jones, he's Tom.

"If he's smoking in the non-smoking room, she'll tell him off. He's happy with that. He's at Linda's beck and call."

Robin Eggar with Tom Jones
Biographer Robin Eggar with Tom Jones in Australia

The author added: "She and Tom have found something that works for both of them. She grounds him in a way he needs to be grounded. She reminds him of where he came from. Yet she's smart enough not to demand the impossible."

Sir Tom told CNN's Larry King in 2003 that he and his wife fell in love when they were teenagers, which he called "the purest love of all."

Asked by King if the love was still alive, he replied: "Oh, yes. I mean, it was strained a few times, you know, because of showbusiness.

"But she... I never wanted to leave my wife, and she never wanted to leave me."

Fan Ann Hughes, from Nefyn on the Lleyn Peninsula, who has been to more than 100 of his concerts, started a letter-writing campaign to secure his knighthood and has a memorabilia room.

For his anniversary, the great-grandmother had a special card printed to send to America.

She said: "There must be something there for them to stay together all these years. All the best to them."


SEE ALSO
Tom Jones' enduring popularity
29 Mar 06 |  Entertainment

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