Girls Aloud stars Cheryl Tweedy, Nicola Roberts and Nadine Coyle were reunited in honour of their bandmate Sarah Harding at a special Race for Life event in her name. They joined hundreds of people gathered in Hyde Park on Sunday morning to take part in Race For Life For Sarah, a Cancer Research 5k run in her memory.
Much-loved singer Sarah, who grew up in Stockport, died at the age of 39 in September, a year after revealing she had breast cancer. Her Girls Aloud bandmates Nicola, Cheryl and Nadine were all at the event wearing pink T-shirts with Race For Life wording.
The band’s fifth member Kimberley Walsh joined in remotely as she was unable to be in London for the event. A huge crowd dressed in pink – many with pink dyed hair, wigs, and even pink tutus – took part in London, with other runners across the country pledging to join in remotely to help raise funds.
Cheryl said at the event she still cannot quite believe the death of bandmate Sarah Harding is real. The singer said: “It doesn’t feel like she’s gone at all,” adding: “To be honest, I’ve never experienced or anticipated this grief.”
“You know, I’ve lost grandparents when I was younger and I lost a friend when I was younger but nothing like this, the feeling of shock and disbelief and it still lingers now to be honest. I still can’t quite believe it’s real.”
When asked if a Girls Aloud reunion without Harding could be a possibility, Cheryl added: “It hasn’t even been a year. It doesn’t feel like she’s gone at all.”
Cheryl said it was great that the surviving Girls Aloud members Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh could be involved in Race For Life For Sarah. She said: “You feel so helpless, you’ve never felt hopelessness like it, it’s horrendous.
“So the fact that she had one request that we can fulfil is like great for us because it just feels like we’re doing something. We felt like there was nothing we could do for so long.”
Former Girls Aloud member Nadine Coyle said she was “in denial” about bandmate Sarah Harding’s illness. Speaking ahead of Race For Life For Sarah, Coyle said: “This time last year we were actually hanging out.
“We all met up last year. She was there and we were talking and she didn’t even seem that sick.
“I was in denial the entire time and was the friend that was ‘Oh, it’s gonna be all right’, you know, I was completely in denial right up until the day she passed.”
Nicole Roberts spoke of Sarah Harding’s “electric” energy ahead of the event. She said: “Obviously coming together now quite often to get things happening is strange because her energy was so electric that we’re kind of… the four of us have such a chill…
“Sarah’s energy was like a firework so I feel like that huge difference in energy when she’s not there.
“I think that for us right now, we don’t feel like Girls Aloud. We don’t feel like a band without Sarah. She, like I said just now, she was such a huge part of our energy that it doesn’t feel like that.”
The girl band were formed on TV show Popstars: The Rivals in 2002 and went on to produce hit tracks such as Sound Of The Underground and The Promise. They have previously said they did not feel comfortable celebrating the group’s 20th anniversary following Sarah’s death, but Roberts noted the charity run was a good place for them to come together.
She said: “I think for us, we really felt so uncomfortable to do anything in terms of a performance or an event in that way without her, that just doesn’t feel OK to us, and so this was the perfect opportunity for everybody to come together for Sarah, so it is in her memory, which she wanted us to do.”
The tragic news of Sarah’s death was announced by her mum on social media in September last year. In a statement, Marie Harding wrote: “It’s with deep heartbreak that today I’m sharing the news that my beautiful daughter Sarah has sadly passed away.
“Many of you will know of Sarah’s battle with cancer and that she fought so strongly from her diagnosis until her last day. She slipped away peacefully this morning.
“I’d like to thank everyone for their kind support over the past year. It meant the world to Sarah and it gave her great strength and comfort to know she was loved.
“I know she won’t want to be remembered for her fight against this terrible disease – she was a bright shining star and I hope that’s how she can be remembered instead. – Marie x”
The news came a year after Sarah announced she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was receiving chemotherapy in August 2020.
“My amazing mum, family and close friends are helping me through this, and I want to say a thank you to the wonderful NHS doctors and nurses who have been and continue to be heroes,” she said at the time.