Eric Clapton is devastated he will never know his natural father - because his mother has taken the secret of his identity to her grave.

The LAYLA singer was raised by his grandparents and grew up believing his real mother PATRICIA was his sister.

He questioned her in 1997 over rumours his father was TED FRIAR, a Canadian ex-serviceman who died in 1985, but was left disappointed when she refused to give a full answer.

Patricia died soon after meeting Clapton's wife MELIA McENERY and before their first daughter JULIE ROSE was born.

Clapton says, "She was non-committal and much as I loved her, I don't know whether she wanted to tell me the truth.

"I didn't press it with her because I sensed I was treading on thin ice.

"And I don't know if this is my suspicious nature, but I wonder if anyone was telling the truth, or even if they really know."