Sir Tom Jones felt 'special' when he caught tuberculosis
Sir Tom Jones felt "special" when he caught tuberculosis.
The 75-year-old singer battled the serious infection, spread through inhaling tiny droplets from the coughs or sneezes of an infected person, when he was just 12 years old but, despite being quarantined for two years, he felt unique.
He explained to the Observer newspaper: "Contracting tuberculosis, aged 12, was difficult but in a weird way it also made me feel special.
"I was quarantined for two years at home but I knew people were thinking about me and asking, 'How's Tommy?' "
The Welsh star also believes the illness - also known as TB - is the reason he has had such a successful career in music because, otherwise, he would have been sent down the mines to bring in some money for his family.
He said previously: "My mother was fantastic - she brought me through it. Doctors had told her, 'Your son can't worry about anything - he has to be contented.
"If he has things on his mind, he won't get better.' The one good thing about suffering TB was that it stopped me going down the mines."
He added: "Maybe if I had not been ill, I'd never have become a singer. I don't know what path I'd have taken. I've never known life without singing."