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Tom Jones Was Bed-Ridden as a Teen & Was ‘Aching’ to Pursue His Wife-To-Be When She Passed By His Window

Sir Tom Jones fell in love with his childhood sweetheart, Melinda Trenchard, who later became his one and only wife. When he saw her outside the window when he was sick, his heart ached.    

Welsh singer Tom Jones began his solo career after being signed by Decca Records, and his first-ever single “Chills and Fever” did not do too well.   

However, his second single, called “It’s Not Unusual,” paved the path for him as a soloist, peaking at No 1. on the British charts in 1965. The song also became an American top 10 hit.   

Musician Tom Jones posing wearing a leather jacket paired with a t-shirt and beige pants in 1995. / Source: Getty Images

With success, Jones appeared in the US show called “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Throughout the 1960s, he released more hit singles, such as “With These Hands” and “Once Upon A Time.”  

His UK No.1 hit was “Green, Green Grass of Home,” including singles like “I’m Coming Home,” “Help Yourself,” “I’ll Never Fall in Love,” “Detroit City,” and “Delilah.” 

Jones was born Thomas John Woodward on June 7, 1940, in Pontypridd, Wales, to parents Freda Jones, a homemaker, and Thomas Woodward, a miner.   

He loved singing at gatherings and in the school choir from a young age. Despite amassing success in his musical career, the “I Know” singer is from an impoverished background.  

His industrial hometown was where he met his first and last love. Jones fell in love with a girl at a very young age, and their romance proved to be one to last a lifetime.   


Tom Jones and Melinda Trenchard, posing outside their home on July 20, 1967 in Glamorgan, Wales. / Source: Getty Images

Since he was young, Jones constantly flirted with girls, especially those from Catholic school, because he found them exotic. However, only one girl caught his eye, and it was Melinda Trenchard, whom he described as shy and pretty. 

Jones used to walk down to her neighborhood in Cliff Terrace, an unpaved street down the hill, to see her. It was not to visit Trenchard but to observe her while playing outside with friends. 

He often had a pal with him to catch a glimpse of her as a cover. Though another popular girl named Phyliss Williams was in the same neighborhood, Jones was only interested in Trenchard.  

Tom Jones with his wife Melinda Trenchard in their home in 1967, Sudbury. / Source: Getty Images

The pair’s relationship started with a kiss-chase, and he used to chase her around and up the hills. Jones dropped out of school at age fifteen, while Trenchard remained a student.  

He began working in a factory during that period while she was still in school. Whenever he knocked off, they would go up the hills in South Wales, and one thing led to another.  

Although Trenchard was half a year younger than him, 13 while he was 14, Jones said she was “contained and self-possessed in a way that was powerfully attractive to me.” 

He revealed that Trenchard was in the A-stream at the County Modern Secondary school and did better than him academically and even socially.  

Their houses were not that similar, but the main difference between them as individuals was that his family lived in a rented home, whereas the Trenchards owned theirs.  

Just as Jones’ feelings for Trenchard intensified, a sudden illness left him almost immobile and locked up at home, away from everyone.  


Tom Jones pictured seated while holding a record at home on April 20, 1966. / Source: Getty Images

When the “The Voice UK” judge was a teenager, he battled tuberculosis and was diagnosed with the disease at age twelve. Young Jones was confined to his bedroom. He felt frustrated and isolated, leading to boredom.  

Jones became restless, and he desperately wanted something to keep his mind off his situation. The “Mars Attacks” star even caught a glimpse of life without him. His peers from school would come to the back of his room and wave to his window.  

It made Jones feel even worse about his separation from his friends and Trenchard because he could not join them on their adventures and had a strong desire to.  

Jones battled TB until age fourteen, and it was two years of his life that he could never get back. However, he mentioned that it was a blessing in disguise when he was advised against going down a coal mine. The musician stated that because his father was a miner, he too wanted to follow in his footsteps.

While bed-ridden, Jones could only see his future wife outside his bedroom window walking with other kids uphill and felt heartache as he watched her passing by, saying: 

“And I could see my wife outside playing with the kids, and I’m like, oh my god! I remember feeling an ache in my chest, you know what they say about heartache? Honestly.” 

Luckily for him, a friend of his used to keep an eye on young Trenchard on his behalf because he knew that he liked her. Jones admitted that he used to worry that she might become interested in another boy and that he would miss out on his chance with her, adding: 

“All the agony of those early yearnings was compounded by the fact that I was locked away from her, unable to do anything about it.” 

The “Pleasure Cover” star emphasized that it was more painful than waving at them through a window but consoled himself that he was at least getting better and would soon be able to join them.  

Jones shared a vivid memory of Trenchard walking in a pair of blue three-quarter-length pants, turning briefly and smiling at him from across the street. He could not wait to get better and pursue her at that point.   


Tom Jones photographed at home with Melinda Trenchard and their son, Mark. / Source: Getty Images

When he eventually got better, Jones made it his mission to do what he always wanted to do when he healed from TB. He happily pursued Trenchard after years of being locked up in a room.  

He became helpful to his mother, who sent him to run errands at Marney’s General Store on Wood Road. The “King Of The Teds” star timed his movements to bump into Trenchard when she ran errands for her mom.  

Marney’s was only halfway between their homes, and when they got there, they had a chat. That was when Jones had the chance to get to know her.  

Singer Tom Jones with his wife, Melinda Trenchard, pictured with their son, Mark, at their new home in 1967, Sudbury. / Source: Getty Images

They talked about school and movies, TB, and the fact that Trenchard’s father had a radiogram and some records. Even their grandmothers knew each other.  

Trenchard and Jones talked about radio shows and television shows and that he had a TV in his room when he was ill. The duo even lost track of time, so much so that, at some point, Jones’s mother had to go after him because he was taking too long to come back home.  

At the same time, Trenchard arrived home and discovered that the water she left on the stove had boiled away and the pan had burned. They were fascinated with each other, and it dawned on Jones that whatever he dreamt and felt about Trenchard was coming to pass. 

Tom Jones pictured with Melinda Trenchard after arriving from France on April 8, 1965. / Source: Getty Images

He realized that he had a chance with her and that they would end up together. The lovebirds officially began dating at age 15, and Trenchard also left school to become a window dresser in a clothing shop. 

Jones chased her whenever she went to Catholic church dances at St. Catherine’s Church. When other boys walked her home, he would run in their direction to ensure that they would not get ideas about her.  

He pointed out that a particular boy seemed interested in Trenchard, but he made sure that he stood out so she could see he was there. Fortunately for Jones, Trenchard was as keen on him as he was on her, and their mutual connection blossomed without any issues. 

Tom Jones and Melinda Trenchard posing while seated on a couch at home. / Source: Getty Images

Jones and Trenchard tied the knot in March 1957 at Pontypridd’s Register Office on Courthouse Street. The couple was accompanied by the groom’s parents, sister Sheila and brother-in-law Ken, including Trenchard’s aunt, Josie.  

The bride’s mother, Vi, working at a café at the time, joined the ceremony during her lunch break. Sadly, her father could not witness them exchanging their wedding vows because he was ill.  

Jones dressed up in his best suit, while his wife-to-be donned a navy-blue dress. She was eight months pregnant, and no pictures were taken.  

Tom Jones with Melinda Trenchard and their son, Mark, holding home appliances as they move into their new home on July 21, 1967, Sunbury, Surrey. / Source: Getty Images

After the nuptials, Trenchard’s mom went back to work, and the rest of them went to Laura Street for drinks. That night, the newlyweds headed out to go and see a movie. 

On their way back to the train station, Trenchard’s feet started swelling, and Jones walked her back home and said goodnight to her. He spent his first night as a married man alone.  


Sir Tom Jones and Linda Moran attending the 40th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Ceremony at The New York Marriott Marquis on June 18, 2009 in New York City. / Source: Getty Images

Even though he was happily married, Jones continued with his wayward flirting and had several relationships with other women outside his marriage to Trenchard.  

The couple remained devoted to each other, and regardless of his affairs, the “She’s A Lady” singer deemed Trenchard “the one.” Jones once revealed that his wife never confronted him about his cheating: 

“The affairs were never discussed; I was never put on the spot. Linda is a wonderful person, and she would never put me on the spot. She loves being married to me, and I love being married to her.” 

Tom Jones and Melinda Trenchard pictured walking down a street in 1965. / Source: Getty Images

Sadly, after 59 years of marriage, Trenchard tragically passed away in 2016 following a “short but fierce” battle with cancer. At the time, Jones told Sunday Mirror that he did not know whether he could survive without her and struggled so much that he could not get out of bed.  

“When my wife passed away, God bless her, I didn’t know whether I would make it. There were days when I felt I couldn’t get up, you don’t want to get out of bed to start with,” said Jones. 

He even moved out of their $8.1 million mansion in Los Angeles, where they had lived since 1974, and returned to the UK, where he purchased a London flat. Jones revealed it was something Trenchard had always wanted to do in her last years but could not due to her illness.  

Tom Jones during the 2016 Hay Festival on June 5, 2016 in Hay-on-Wye, Wales. / Source: Getty Images

Five years since her passing, the “I Am Ali” star told People in April 2021 that he was still trying to find ways to cope with the loss of his spouse.  

When asked whether he would remarry one day, Jones admitted: “I couldn’t because there’s no history with anybody else.” He and Trenchard used to do everything together.

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