Girls Aloud race for Sarah Harding in Hyde Park
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Watch: Girls Aloud gather in Hyde Park to remember Sarah Harding

Hundreds of people, including three members of Girls Aloud, have gathered in Hyde Park to take part in a memorial run for Sarah Harding.

The singer, 39, died in September, a year after revealing she had breast cancer.

Bandmates Nicola Roberts, Cheryl and Nadine Coyle were at the Race For Life For Sarah, a 5k Cancer Research run.

A huge pink-clad crowd took part in London, and others, including Kimberley Walsh, joined in remotely.

Cheryl said she still cannot quite believe the death of her bandmate.

Image source, Getty Images

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Pictured here in 2018, Sarah Harding died in September 2021

“It doesn’t feel like she’s gone at all. 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.”

Image source, PA Media

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Hundreds of people took part in the Race For Life earlier

Nicola Roberts spoke of Harding’s “electric” personality: “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.”

Nadine Coyle said she was “in denial” about bandmate Sarah Harding’s illness: “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.”

Image source, PA Media

Image caption,

Nicola Roberts said Harding’s energy was “like a firework”

At the scene

Daniel Rosney, BBC Entertainment reporter at Hyde Park

This was the first time fans were able to meet with members of Girls Aloud to mark and celebrate Sarah’s life since her death last year.

Some had travelled from across the UK, others had flown from Israel and Spain.

Ahead of the race Sound of the Underground and Love Machine – two of the girlband’s biggest hits – were played to get the participants warmed up as Cheryl, Nicola and Nadine thanked those for raising money and awareness.

Kimberley was unable to take part but did the run on her family holiday – starting at the same time as those in Hyde Park – sharing her route on an Instagram live.

Speaking to the BBC, Cheryl said “it doesn’t feel like Girls Aloud without Sarah” while Nadine added: “I often think of her at a health retreat in Thailand somewhere but then you think that’s not the way it is.”

More than 1,000 people completed the 5km route with many wearing Girls Aloud T-shirts or banners with Sarah’s face on it.

And there were others who were proudly wearing the lyrics Sarah sings on the hit The Promise.

“Here I am, walking primrose, wondering when I’m gunna see you again.”

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

Girls Aloud last performed together in 2013 – marking 10 years since they were formed on Popstars: The Rivals

How can you spot breast cancer?

The most common sign of breast cancer is a lump or thickening in the breast – but there are other symptoms too.

  • Change in size or feel of the breast
  • Changes in the skin of the breast, such as dimpling or redness
  • Fluid leaking from the nipple, outside of pregnancy or breast feedin
  • Change in position of the nipple

These symptoms can be caused by other conditions, so it is important to get any lumps or changes checked by a doctor.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, with women over 50 more at risk than the under-40s.

But there are many other factors that can increase a person’s risk, including a family history of cancer and being overweight.

Many treatments are available for breast cancer and survival is generally good if the disease is detected early.

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