Strictly Come Dancing star Shirley Ballas reveals her heartache over brother, 44, who killed himself

The TV judge was left devastated after depressed David Rich hanged himself in 2003 – at the age of 44.


On what would have been his 60th birthday, champion dancer Shirley, 58, said: "There is not a day goes by in my life without you coming to mind.

“The best brother I could have wished for.

"Protective, caring and kind of your family.

"We for sure came first.

"I wish I could turn the clock back in time and be more aware of mental health and the fact that we all need to share more how we feel.


"For the years I had with you I am so grateful ,,the fun memories ,, the fact I always felt so safe with you in my life.

"As we make are way through this short life with all its twists and turns I will hold you close in my heart so you are always on this journey with me.

"Seems like yesterday I had my last cuddle with you but I feel you closer than ever.

"RIP David I love you."

David and Shirley grew up together at their family home in Wallasey, Merseyside.

Shirley's son Mark has since teamed up with her to set up a charity to raise awareness for mental health issues and suicide.

Mark has said previously: "The family was not only left with overwhelming grief, but guilt.”

Shortly after David's death, the mother of his daughter Mary died of alcoholism.

Shirley took in Mary and raised her as her own.

The dance judge said recently: "Her mother died of alcoholism a few years after her father so she really had it tough.

“At first she kept picking the wrong men but now she’s got the most wonderful partner.

“She’s a forensic scientist for the NHS. I couldn’t be prouder of her."


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