Lucy sky in the 1432

The woman who inspired the classic Beatles song Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, has died at aged 46, a charity said today. The song featured on the ground-breaking 1967 album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

John Lennon’s elder son Julian said it was inspired by a picture he drew of his classmate Lucy O’Donnell when they were at a nursery school in Weybridge, Surrey, in 1966.

Julian said he took the picture home and showed it to his father, explaining: “It’s Lucy in the sky with diamonds.” When Lennon and Paul McCartney’s song was subsequently released, it caused controversy because of its hallucinogenic theme and supposed reference to the drug LSD.

The former classmates resumed their friendship in recent months when Lennon heard that Lucy, who was married to Ross Vodden and lived in Surbiton, Surrey, had become ill with lupus, a disease of the immune system.

Lucy sky in the 1543

The St Thomas Lupus Trust, which had been supporting Mr and Mrs Vodden during her illness, said she died last Tuesday aged 46.

Angie Davidson, campaign director of the trust, said: “Everyone at the Louise Coote Lupus Unit was dreadfully shocked by the death of Lucy. She was a great supporter of ours and a real fighter. It’s so sad that she has finally lost the battle she fought so bravely for so long.” The trust said that Lennon and his mother Cynthia were “shocked and saddened” by Mrs Vodden’s death.