Sandie Shaw believes John Lennon would still be alive if he had married her instead of Yoko Ono.

Sandie Shaw

Sandie Shaw

The 71-year-old retired singer had a huge crush on the late Beatles legend - who was murdered on December 8, 1980 - from a young age.

The two musicians would regularly cross paths during the swinging 60s in Britain but she was never able to progress their friendship to a romance, something she regrets.

Sandie - who has two children with Virgin Group co-founder Nik Powell and daughter Gracie Banks with fashion designer Jeff Banks - told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "I loved John and thought he should have married me. He'd be alive today if I had, I would have protected him and taken a bullet for him!"

The 'Puppet on a String' hitmaker - who is now married to third husband Tony Bedford - first met the 'I Am The Walrus' singer at a Beatles concert at The Royal Albert Hall by pretending to be his cousin.

Sandie - who received an MBE this year - recalled: "The Beatles were performing at the Royal Albert Hall so I rang up, saying 'I'm Sandra, John's cousin. I haven't seen him in ages, so I will pop in'.

"Along I went and John came out, took one look at me and said, 'I haven't got a cousin called Sandra'. But then he added, 'Come in'. Can you imagine? You would never get away with it now."

Lennon was shot dead at the age of 40 by obsessed fan Mark Chapman as he entered the Dakota building, where he shared an apartment with Yoko, in Manhattan in New York City.

Chapman was subsequently sentenced of 20 years-to-life in prison, and petition for parole has been denied every two years since 2000.

Yoko and Lennon got married On March 20, 1969 after meeting in November 1966 at Yoko's art unveiling of her artwork, Unfinished Paintings and Objects, at the Indica Gallery in London.

Yoko gave birth to the couple's only child together, Sean Lennon, now 42, in October 1975.