Dame Shirley Bassey fan Dennis Welch says it was a ‘dream come true’ to receive a handwritten note from the international superstar wishing him all the best with his lung cancer treatment.
Mr Welch, who has followed the career of the Big Spender singer since he was 17, received the letter with a postmark from Monte Carlo shortly before he underwent an operation in Southampton to remove half his lung.
Last year, Mr Welch was featured in the JEP speaking of his heartbreak at not being able to get a ticket to the Jersey Style Awards where Dame Shirley was set to appear – only to be surprised at the last minute by a kind-hearted Islander who gave the St Brelade pensioner the opportunity to see his hero once again.
Dame Shirley sent the letter after a friend of Mr Welch contacted her to tell her about his illness.
In it, she writes: ‘I was very sad to read of your illness and wish and hope and pray that you come through with flying colours. It is good to know that you are thinking positive.
‘I send my love and best wishes, Dame Shirley.’
The letter also sends the singer’s thanks for the Jersey fudge and toffee that Mr Welch had sent her, as well as a mug with a picture of the 79-year-old and Dame Shirley at the Jersey Style Awards.
‘What a fantastic artist she is to write to me,’ Mr Welch said. ‘It is a dream come true. The kindness she has shown me – she is the girl with the golden heart.’
Mr Welch, who has amassed a large collection of Dame Shirley memorabilia over the years, said that he took a photograph of the letter – as it was too precious to take with him – when he went to Southampton.
While waiting for his operation he wrote back to say how much her words had meant to him and added: ‘When I come round from my surgery, which is due shortly, the first thing I see are your kind written words.’