British singer Sir Cliff Richard is said to have broken his first girlfriend’’s heart by sending her a letter saying that he cannot have a lasting relationship with her because of his career.

Richard, 69, was just 21 when he wrote the break-off letter to his then girlfriend Delia Wicks, and now the contents have been made public after her death from cancer at 71.

Delia had met Richard when she danced at one of his shows, and they went out for 18 months, with him bringing his mother and sisters on their dates.

He met her family at their home in Leeds and she later admitted that she hoped to be his wife, but her dreams were shattered when the letter, from Australia where he was on tour, arrived in October 1961.

And as if it was not bad enough to be dumped by airmail, Delia also had to go through the indignity of having her name spelt incorrectly – as Dellia.

The letter, which was made public by her brother Graham Wicks, 65, after her death last weekend, read:

“Dear Dellia, I know I haven”t written for a long time but I”ve been so confused in my mind about you and about myself. I”ve just had to make, probably, one of the biggest decisions I”m ever going to make and I”m hoping that it won”t hurt you too much.

“Dellia, I want you to try and understand the position I”m in. Being a singer I”m going to have to give up many things in life. But being a pop singer I have to give up one priceless thing – the right to any lasting relationship with any special girl.

“Dellia, you must find someone who is free to love you as you deserve to be loved, and is able to marry you. I couldn”t give up my career, besides the fact that my mother and sisters, since my father’’s death, rely on me completely. I have showbiz in my blood now and I would be lost without it.

“D, all I can say now is goodbye and don”t think too badly of me. Love, Cliff.”

Delia later became Mrs Pyle, and after one failed marriage she later worked in a shoe shop.

“We have heard of Delia’’s death. Sir Cliff is overseas at present but we have forwarded a message to let him know,” Times Online quoted the Cliff Richard Organisation as saying.

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