Sarah Harding's father has suggested the pair may have reconciled before her death.

Sarah Harding's dad has spoken publicly about her death for the first time

Sarah Harding's dad has spoken publicly about her death for the first time

The Girls Aloud singer, who died of cancer in September aged 39, had been estranged from her dad John Hardman since 2000 after he split from her mum Marie, but he has now hinted they were back in touch by admitting he will cherish moments he shared with his daughter "before and during her illness".

He wrote on Instagram: "In memory of my beautiful daughter Sarah Harding (Hardman) this Christmas.

"I cherish the moments we had together before and during her illness."

John - who was part of 1970s band Sunfighter - also admitted he misses Sarah "greatly".

He added: "We all miss her greatly, and we thank her fans for their love and kindness, wishing them and their families a very happy Christmas.

"One can only try to stay safe in such difficult times."

In 2009, John admitted he had tried on numerous occasions to make contact with Sarah, who described him as a "talented musician" in her autobiography 'Hear Me Out', which was released in March.

He said at the time: "I’ve tried so many times to make contact, even before she became famous.

"I’ve written, emailed, telephoned, asked others to intercede on my behalf and still she refuses to see me.

"I once turned up at her London home only to be turned away by her boyfriend and management people."

John's comments come after Sarah's Girls Aloud bandmate Kimberley Walsh recently admitted it is a "daily challenge" grieving for her late friend, and said the star's tragic passing has been hard to take for the group, who are also made up of Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts, and Cheryl.

Kimberley said: "I can't lie, [Sarah's death] absolutely knocked us all for six and the grieving is a daily challenge.

"I deal with it day to day and, for me, that's about checking in with everyone, especially Sarah's mum, and making sure that they're OK too. It's going to take time, and it's very, very tough."