Cliff Richard pays tribute to close friend Bill Latham, whom he lived with for 30 years, who has died aged 84

30 December 2022, 22:58

Cliff Richard and friend Bill Latham
Cliff Richard and friend Bill Latham. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

Sir Cliff Richard has paid tribute to his close friend whom he has lived with for over 30 years, following his death.

Cliff Richard confirmed the death of friend and former manager Bill Latham on Facebook.

The 82-year-old singer said that Bill Latham, who was a religious studies teacher, changed his life "fully and completely".

"Dear all. Yet another loss," he wrote on Facebook, alongside a photo of the pair with American preacher Billy Graham.

"This time, someone I feel as though I’ve known forever has left this life and moved on to a better one.

"Many, if not all of you, will know of whom I write … Bill Latham. He is the one who led me on to that spiritual pathway that changed my life fully and completely.

"He showed me how important it was to be charitable and also be brave enough to speak openly of my faith. Bill was one of those people who you could reliably lean on and I did, many times."

Dear all. Yet another loss. This time, someone I feel as though I’ve know forever has left this life and moved on to a...

Posted by Cliff Richard on Thursday, December 29, 2022

Sir Cliff said that Bill Latham, who was 84 at the time of his death, "will be missed greatly and will live on in the many hearts of those that loved and respected him…my heart being one of them".

He added: "God bless you Bill. You deserve your Rest In Peace … Cliff."

Latham died in hospital this week, following a period of ill health, reports the Daily Mail.

Cliff and Bill met in the 1960s, and Latham moved in to Sir Cliff’s mansion in Weybridge, Surrey, where they lived together until 1996, when Latham moved out to be with his wife.

The singer later moved in with John McElynn, a Catholic priest whom he met in 2001.

Latham was part of Sir Cliff’s management team before retiring at the end of 2010.

The pair faced years of rumours about their relationship, but Cliff always dismissed claims they were romantically involved.

In 2008, he said: "When Bill and I lived together, there were always stories about what people believed our real relationship was, but what nobody realised was that Bill’s girlfriend was living with us, too.

"Nobody asked about that, not that it was anyone else’s business. When Bill decided to move out, it was because he and his girlfriend wanted to be alone together, simple as that."