John Lennon was "bubbling over with excitement" about returning to the UK in a phone call the night before he was assassinated in New York, according to a newly released letter by his aunt.
The former Beatle was shot and killed outside his home in Manhattan on 8 December 1980 by Mark Chapman.
The following month, his aunt Mimi Smith replied in a letter to a journalist, Judith Simons of the Daily Express, who had sent her condolences over the assassination.
"Dear Judith, Thank you for your letter, kind thoughts," Ms Smith wrote.
"I'm trying to accept this terrible thing which has happened, but finding it very hard. He had such faith himself, I'm trying to do the same.
"He phoned the night before, witty, funny, bubbling over with excitement, coming over very soon. Couldn't wait to see me. So I'm glad of that.
"If I'm in London, I'll get in touch with you. Kind thoughts to you too. Mimi."
More from Ents & Arts
The White Tiger: Why the world has found a star in Adarsh Gourav
COVID-19: Kenneth Branagh to play Boris Johnson in new TV drama charting PM's handling of pandemic
Larry King: US talk show host dies weeks after testing positive for COVID-19
Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens: I want to challenge myself and surprise other people
Adele reaches divorce settlement with her ex-husband
You Me At Six: 'Everything is at stake' over visa-free touring in Europe
The letter "provides solid confirmation that, but for his murder, Lennon would have returned to Britain during 1981 for the first time in 10 years", said Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn.
The letter from the estate of Judith Simons was recently discovered by Tracks Ltd, which offers valuations of music memorabilia.