Kimberley Walsh pays tribute to Sarah Harding as she marks one year since her death

Kimberley Walsh has paid tribute to her late friend and bandmate Sarah Harding as she marked one year since her tragic death.

Sarah died aged 39 on September 5 last year after being diagnosed with breast cancer, which then spread to other parts of her body.

And taking to Instagram on Monday, Kimberley, 40, shared an image of Sarah as well as a heartfelt message in which she remarked: ‘It feels more real than ever today.’

Heartbreaking: Kimberley Walsh has paid tribute to her late friend and bandmate Sarah Harding on Monday as she marked one year since her tragic death (pictured together in 2009)

Heartbreaking: Kimberley Walsh has paid tribute to her late friend and bandmate Sarah Harding on Monday as she marked one year since her tragic death (pictured together in 2009)

Kimberley wrote in full: ‘Sarah passed away a year ago. I can still hardly believe it to be honest but it feels more real than ever today. Thinking of her always and of everyone who loved and miss her too.’

Her message was met with a plethora of comments from her fans and celebrity pals, who also shared kind words for Sarah.

Former Sugababes singer Heidi Range penned: ‘Sending love to you and Sarah’s loved ones.’

Michelle Collins said: ‘So so sad too young., thinking of you all x.’

Rest in peace: Kimberley also shared Sarah's image to her Instagram stories, writing alongside it: '1 year' as well as a broken heart emoji

Rest in peace: Kimberley also shared Sarah’s image to her Instagram stories, writing alongside it: ‘1 year’ as well as a broken heart emoji

With Gethin Jones adding: ‘Thinking of you Kimba x.’

Kimberley also shared Sarah’s image to her Instagram stories, writing alongside it: ‘1 year’ as well as a broken heart emoji.

Elsewhere, Peter Andre shared an emotional tribute to Sarah via his OK! magazine column, in which he spoke about who Sarah was a ‘loved’ person who will ‘never be forgotten’.

Tribute: Taking to Instagram on Monday, Kimberley, 40, shared an image of Sarah as well as a heartfelt message in which she remarked: 'It feels more real than ever today'

Tribute: Taking to Instagram on Monday, Kimberley, 40, shared an image of Sarah as well as a heartfelt message in which she remarked: ‘It feels more real than ever today’

The singer wrote: ‘It was such a shock when Sarah died, but what I love about the Great British public is that when a terrible situation like this happens and someone so loved passes, people put all their love and support behind the family.

Sarah was a very loved person, she will never be forgotten. I hope her family have been able to in some way come to terms with their loss. It’s such a terrible thing to have happened to someone so young.’

Sarah’s mother Marie announced the sad news on social media last year, she wrote: ‘It’s with deep heartbreak that today I’m sharing the news that my beautiful daughter Sarah has sadly passed away.

Tributes: Her message was met with a plethora of comments from her fans and celebrity pals, who also shared kind words for Sarah

Tributes: Her message was met with a plethora of comments from her fans and celebrity pals, who also shared kind words for Sarah

‘Many of you will know of Sarah’s battle with cancer and that she fought so strongly from her diagnosis until her last day.

‘She slipped away peacefully this morning. I’d like to thank everyone for their kind support over the past year. It meant the world to Sarah and it gave her great strength and comfort to know she was loved.

‘I know she won’t want to be remembered for her fight against this terrible disease – she was a bright shining star and I hope that’s how she can be remembered instead.’

It comes after the members of Girls Aloud reunited at Hyde Park in July for the first time in nine years as they paid tribute to the life of their late bandmate Sarah.

Lovely: Elsewhere, Peter Andre shared an emotional tribute to Sarah via his OK!  magazine column, in which he spoke about who Sarah was a 'loved' person who will 'never be forgotten'

Lovely: Elsewhere, Peter Andre shared an emotional tribute to Sarah via his OK! magazine column, in which he spoke about who Sarah was a ‘loved’ person who will ‘never be forgotten’

Cheryl, Nadine, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh took part in the Race for Life for Sarah 5k event in order to raise money for breast cancer, marking their first public appearance together since 2013.

An emotional Cheryl, 39, paid tribute to her late bandmate in a speech to the crowds, admitting she never ‘anticipated or experienced’ the level of grief she would feel since Sarah’s passing.

Cheryl, Nadine and Nicola were all in Hyde Park for the event while Kimberley completed the walk remotely.

Kimberley did make an appearance later as she did an Instagram Live with the other girls following the race.

Thousands of fans gathered in the park to take part in the cause, with the band hoping to raise funds for a medical kit to help detect cancer earlier.

Cheryl said: ‘To be honest, I’ve never experienced or anticipated this grief.

Event: It comes after the members of Girls Aloud reunited in Hyde Park last month for the first time in nine years as they paid tribute to the life of their late bandmate Sarah Harding

Event: It comes after the members of Girls Aloud reunited in Hyde Park last month for the first time in nine years as they paid tribute to the life of their late bandmate Sarah Harding

‘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.’

The event came after Cheryl told MailOnline her feelings of ‘helplessness was extremely overwhelming’ when Sarah disclosed that her cancer couldn’t be cured.

She said: ‘I asked her so much to give me something I could do to make her happy or comfortable, anything at all.

‘Towards the end, she asked me to create a gala in her honor to fund a crucial study that her doctor was working on so I am committed to doing just that.’

Tragedy: Sarah died aged 39 in September last year after being diagnosed with breast cancer, which then spread to other parts of her body

Tragedy: Sarah died aged 39 in September last year after being diagnosed with breast cancer, which then spread to other parts of her body

Nadine added: ‘She talked to us all about this several times. Sarah felt really passionately about wanting to help other people in the same situation as her, or who could be at risk of finding themselves in the same situation she was in.

‘She really wanted to do some fundraising herself, but sadly just wasn’t well enough, so we promised her we would do it for her.

‘She’d have loved the Race For Life – she’d have loved to have been involved. We know for sure she will be there with us in spirit on July 24 in Hyde Park.’

Nicola said the girls would have raised funds for breast cancer even if Sarah hadn’t asked them, as it will help their many fans who are ‘in the same fight she was in’.

Girls Aloud are planning other fundraising activities in 2022, culminating in a huge gala dinner in the next few months, with more details coming soon.

Sarah and the rest of Girls Aloud rose to fame when they were put together on the show Popstars: The Rivals in 2002.

Success: Sarah and the rest of Girls Aloud rose to fame when they were put together on the show Popstars: The Rivals in 2002 (pictured in 2006)

Success: Sarah and the rest of Girls Aloud rose to fame when they were put together on the show Popstars: The Rivals in 2002 (pictured in 2006)

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