By Hilary Porter

Like millions of ladies of a certain age the world over I am today lamenting the end of my childhood and reeling from the death of my very first love.

David Cassidy - the 70's teen idol who was way bigger than Justin Bieber and arguably even the Beatles in his day, passed away in a Florida hospital on Tuesday night after suffering organ failure. He was only 67 years old.

Despite reports about his troubles in recent times, including alcohol dependency and being diagnosed with dementia earlier this year, I will always remember him as the gorgeous Keith Partridge in the 1970s TV series The Partridge Family, and as the all-American pin up boy and pop star whose life-size image adorned my bedroom wall after I collected all the double page spreads in Jackie magazine week by week.

I was what the press would have called a 'Weeny-bopper' back in those days when, still at primary school, I saw David Cassidy live in concert at the Empire Pool, Wembley.

My parents drove me and my elder sister, who was 14, and her best friend, from our home in sleepy Leicestershire to London where they dropped us off to join the thousands of emotionally super-charged young girls.

I vividly recall the slim white jump- suited heart-throb who sang all those songs I had played on my record player day after day: How Can I Be Sure, Day Dreamer and I Think I Love you being among my favourites. I could hardly hear his voice because of the volume of screaming that exceeded anything I have heard since but the experience was phenomenal.

When we came to leave our seats there was that huge sadness that it was all over, which is why hundreds of fans refused to leave. I almost got crushed in the crowd as we made our exit and I remember struggling to breath as everyone seemed so much taller than me. Once outside the fun and games began. Hundreds of us surrounded the building singing 'We Shall not be Moved' between chanting 'We Want David' - all our eyes fixed on an upstairs window hoping for just one last glance. The police turned up with dogs asking us over loud speakers to go home and when we refused started spraying us with hose-pipes!

They say everything comes to those that wait and just a few years ago David Cassidy phoned me at home! Ok he was calling me in a professional capacity for an interview in the paper but as I waited for the phone to ring at 10pm I did have butterflies!

He was absolutely lovely, charming, cheerful and happy with is life and was calling me from a plane as he continued to tour.

Only this year he announced he had decided to stop touring, recognising the on-set of dementia: "I want to focus on what I am... I want to love. I want to enjoy life," he said.

His death is so very sad but what wonderful memories he leaves behind.

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