Ben Fordham has written a tribute to his late father and described the final moments he spent with him before he died.
Talent agent John Fordham died of throat cancer aged 75 at a hospice in Darlinghurst, Sydney, on Sunday.
He was known as a powerhouse celebrity manager who worked with some of Australia’s most prominent personalities.
As he drifted off, Mr Fordham was listening to his favourite Frank Sinatra song, My Way.
His son, broadcaster Ben Fordham, posted a moving tribute to his father on social media where he described the man as ‘a mate’ and said ‘he was the best.’
‘If any of his family or friends or clients were in trouble, he’d go to war,’ Ben said.
John Fordham, a prominent talent agent and father to Ben Fordham (pictured together) has lost his long battle with throat cancer
The powerhouse talent agent had built a reputation as one of the country’s most prolific and represented the likes of Kerri-Anne Kennerley (pictured together) John Laws, Alan Jones and Ian Chappell
Radio broadcaster, Ben Fordham, posted a moving tribute to his father on social media (pictured) where he described the man as ‘a mate’ and said ‘he was the best’
John Fordham spent his final days swapping racing tips with Alan Jones, and having a beer and a punt, The Daily Telegraph reported.
He also continued working for his clients right until the very end.
‘He dictated a really heavy message on Saturday afternoon involving one of his clients in a contract negotiation,’ Ben Fordham said.
‘It was very robust, very stern to an employer and he was determined to get it resolved.’
Ben Fordman posted a tribute to his father on Twitter and Instagram, which was accompanied by a photo of the pair, smiling while Mr Fordham held a glass of wine.
‘My dad has passed away. It was the most peaceful goodbye. We were all there with him and feel blessed. What a bloke,’ Ben Fordham said.
‘When we were growing up, he spent every spare minute playing on the street with all of the neighbourhood kids.’
He said Mr Fordham was a man of great character and regularly donated to charities and established the Head and Neck Cancer Foundation.
‘We’re going to miss him but thankfully we took every chance to tell him how much we love him. That’s the trick. No regrets.’
‘Today, Dad is being appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his commitment to charity. RIP John Fordham.’
Rugby League Immortal Andrew Johns and radio personality John Laws were among the high-profile celebrities to visit the 75-year-old in his final hours.
Mr Fordham worked with the likes of Johns, Ian Chappell, Mark Taylor, Lisa Wilkinson and Kerri-Anne Kennerley as a talent agent.
Speaking with The Australian, Ben Fordham said his father had lived on his own terms until the very end.
‘It’s a weird feeling but we’re not sad, we’re genuinely happy,’ he said.
‘We’re a family who’s never felt afraid of telling each other we love each other, so none of us have that feeling of ”if only”.
‘He chose his own exit, he choreographed the whole thing. I think he decided he wasn’t going to spend eight or nine months in a bed.’
He said the lasting legacy his father will have on him was what he taught him about ‘life, loyalty and having a go’.
Ben Fordham said the lasting legacy his father will have had on him was teaching him the true value of ‘life, loyalty and having a go’ (Mr Fordham pictured with his grandson Freddy)
Alan Jones also spoke highly of Mr Fordham, heaping praise on a man he described as ‘loyal’ and ‘generous’.
‘It was his loyalty and generosity that stood out to me. He was the most amazing storyteller, had a wonderful sense of humour and was a lot of fun,’ he said.
Mr Fordham was due to be appointed to the Order of Australia (AM) next year, but when news of his terminal diagnosis was revealed, some power players stood up.
The Governor-General agreed to move the appointment up earlier but sadly Mr Fordham lost his battle before the day.
But Ben informed his father of the news and got a squeeze of the hand as a sign of acceptance from his father before he died.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and police commissioner Mick Fuller will attend a private ceremony on Monday to award the honour posthumously.
On Thursday Ben Fordham revealed doctors had told his father his battle with the disease ‘was not going to be continuing’.
As well as representing entertainment personalities Mr Fordham also built a reputation as a gifted sports agent and represented rugby league Immortal Andrew Johns (pictured left and right, with Matty Johns centre as his alter ego Reg Reagan)
‘I’ve spent the day with him today and I’ve actually made the decision late yesterday I’ll be wrapping up the radio show either at the end of today or tomorrow and that will be it for the year,’ Fordham said.
‘It (the cancer) has been around for a few years. He’s had a couple of bouts with it. He beat it and then it came back and then recently it came back again.’
The presenter interviewed his father on Sky News – discussing his career in the media as well as his cancer.
Ben explained to viewers that John first suspected he had cancer during a family holiday in 2017.
‘I remember my sister Sarah saying, ‘Oh what’s on your neck?’ and you told her, ‘Oh it’s a strained muscle or something’,’ Ben said.
The lump on John’s neck though turned out to be something more serious.
‘That was a shock, no one wants to get that news,’ John said of the initial diagnosis.
Mr Fordham also leaves behind a legacy of charity after establishing the Head and Neck Cancer Foundation.
He launched the foundation after being diagnosed with aggressive cancer.
‘(John) was inspired to learn more about Head and Neck cancer and what could be done to ensure others did not suffer from the dreadful complications associated with this disease,’ the foundation states.
After being diagnosed Mr Fordham (pictured with son Ben) established the Head and Neck Cancer Foundation to ensure others didn’t suffer the dreadful complications of the cancer