Girls Aloud run charity 5k for late bandmate Sarah Harding

Cheryl, Nadine Coyle and Nicola Roberts participated in Race for Life for Sarah in Hyde Park, while Kimberly Walsh joined remotely

Three of the surviving members of Girls Aloud have taken part in a charity run in memory of former bandmate Sarah Harding.

Singers Cheryl, Nadine Coyle and Nicola Roberts paid tribute to Harding, who died from breast cancer last year, at a 5k run in London’s Hyde Park on Sunday. Kimberly Walsh, the fourth bandmate, was one of the many people to join in remotely.

Harding died in September 2021 aged 39, after revealing she had breast cancer that had spread to other parts of her body.

Speaking at Race for Life for Sarah, held to celebrate Sarah’s life and raise money for breast cancer, Cheryl said it still “doesn’t feel like she’s gone at all”.

“I’ve never experienced or anticipated this grief,” she said. “I 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.”

Girls Aloud, a Brit-award winning girl band, was formed on TV show Popstars: The Rivals in 2002 and went on to have hit tracks including Sound of the Underground and Love Machine. The group disbanded in 2013, with its members all going on to have successful solo careers in music and TV.

Speaking at the event, Coyle told the PA news agency she was “in denial” about Harding’s illness.

“This time last year we were actually hanging out,” she said. “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.”

Roberts, Coyle and Cheryl were among the hundreds of people who ran together in Hyde Park, wearing pink T-shirts with Race for Life wording.

Walsh joined the group remotely, having been unable to travel to London, and completed the run with her husband, Justin Scott, and a group of friends.

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Paying tribute to Harding’s “electric” energy, Roberts added that the group didn’t feel like a band without her.

“Sarah’s energy was like a firework so I feel like that huge difference in energy when she’s not there,” she said.

“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 band’s fundraising efforts will conclude with a gala dinner later in the year.


Anna MacSwan

The GuardianTramp

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